Africa has mixed results in fighting poachers

Africa, rhino, NamibiaOne of the main reasons adventure travelers head to Africa is for the wildlife. Sadly, that wildlife is in danger of disappearing thanks to illegal poaching. Big game such as rhinos and elephants can bring in large sums of money for their tusks, hide, and meat.

Namibia has been one country that has been successful in the fight against poaching in the face of a continent-wide rise in illegal hunting. Neighboring South Africa lost 150 rhinos to illegal poaching. On the other hand, Zimbabwe has seen a drop in incidents, despite reports that safari operators and hunters are supplying poachers with weapons. The poachers are local hunters with local knowledge of the terrain and animals, who then sell the animals to big game hunters and safari operators who have foreign connections.

Namibia has been clamping down on poachers by increasing staff and national parks and setting up communication systems to rapidly report any incidents. So far it’s worked, with no rise in deaths among the country’s elephant and rhino population.

[Photo courtesy user Ikiwaner via Wikimedia Commons]