Target: African Leaders
Goal: Save elephants from international poaching operations before these magnificent animals go extinct
During the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., many leaders voiced their concerns regarding the rise in poaching. Particularly, collaboration amongst the African nations has been difficult and many are asking for the United States’ help.
In Africa, 50,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks. In addition, the number of rhinos being slaughtered annually is unprecedented. The rise in numbers is due to organized crime and booming markets, particularly in Asia. In June 2014, Satao, a 45 year-old Kenyan elephant, was killed by a poisoned arrow, demonstrating that the war against poachers is a losing so far. Satao was under constant surveillance by wildlife rangers, who lost him once he traveled to a densely covered part of the park. In fact, wildlife rangers who dedicate their lives to protecting endangered animals from poachers are also putting themselves in danger, with more than 1,000 rangers having been killed in this war.
According to an NPR article, African leaders blame “the lack of cooperation across the continent” since “neighboring countries often don’t share strategies and intelligence, even though roaming elephants ignore national borders.” For example, the Tanzanian president Jakaya Kiwete points out that although the elephants are killed in Tanzania, the business comes from neighboring countries like Uganda.
Another issue facing these countries is the advanced weaponry used by poachers. In response to poachers in Gabon targeting forest elephants, U.S. Marines were called to train Gabonese park rangers. Other countries asked the U.S. for more resources like night-vision goggles, helicopters and infrared scanners. However, it is important that these countries work together in order to combat poachers in a unified matter. By signing the petition below, ask African leaders to protect their wildlife and collaborate effectively in this poaching war.
Dear African leaders,
The poaching of elephants and rhinos has been rising annually and causing great concern across the continent. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. has emphasized the need for more resources and for greater collaboration.
Other dangers in this poaching war include endangering rangers who work to protect these animals. For example, more than 1,000 rangers have been killed so far. In addition, it is important to target countries that house large black markets and criminal groups that are involved in this ludicrous business.
Therefore, I urge every leader to work together in order to create comprehensive strategies to protect wildlife and shut down black markets.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Phys.org