The Crisis


The recent demand for rhino horn and the resulting resurgence in poaching has reached catastrophic levels. Whilst the epidemic levels of rhino poaching in South Africa has been well documented, in proportion to its population, Kenya has lost even more. The situation is even more dire for elephant, with some estimates suggesting that 100 elephant a day are being killed across Africa.

The market price of rhino horn now rivals gold for value (approximately $65,000 -$75,000 a kilo), Ivory is worth over $1200 and it is estimated that the trade in illegal wildlife products is worth over $17 billion a year.

As a result of these inflated prices, the poachers have become ever more determined and motivated, using high caliber assault weapons and sophisticated night-vision to operate at night. It has even been suggested that there are links between revenue from poaching and terrorism organizations in Kenya.

The Plight of Rhino

In the 1970’s there were 70,000 black rhino in Africa. Today they number 3000. This extraordinary animal is on the brink of extinction, slaughtered and mutilated for its horn by poachers to satisfy a wealthy, callous and ignorant group of individuals who believe that their libidos and egos will be boosted by a horn that is no different to ones fingernails. The demand for rhino horn is such that it fetches up to USD65, 000 a kilo in the Far East. Almost 2 rhino a day are butchered to satisfy this delusional market, and the numbers continue to rise.

With such money available, the slaughter escalates almost daily. It has become a war. And despite the sacrifices made by those determined to allow this species to survive, its war that is being lost. There seems to be too much money, too many firearms, too many people and too little space.

The population is currently static, neither increasing nor declining. The births are just about keeping up with the losses to poaching. But the places prepared to take on and stand up to this onslaught in poaching are on the decline. With no space the rhino can’t breed. Soon the killings will outnumber the births.

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Elephant in Peril

Elephants too are victims of this senseless slaughter. In 2014 alone, it is estimated that more than 20,000 elephants were killed for their ivory; an annual poaching rate of 7.4%. This exceeds the natural growth rate of 5% per year; this situation is unsustainable and will see wild populations of elephants plummet and in some cases disappear over the next 10 years if not reduced.

In Africa a recorded number of 27 rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty in the last 12 months, with nearly 80% of them killed by poachers.

Over 20,000 elephants were illegally killed in Africa in the past year alone.
A rhino is killed every 4 hours in Africa. At the current trends Rhino will be extinct in 2026. That’s 10 years away!Its our generation. Our Problem. We need to support the men who are risking their lives to end this slaughter.

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