If you are wondering if there might still be illegal diamond trafficking in Africa, the answer is simple. Are elephants, rhino’s and lions still butchered today for their tusks, horns, claws or bones? YES and they are the new or not so new blood diamonds. The scary part is that these animals are butchered right in front of our eyes and very little has been done or actually can be done to prevent this. In the past with diamonds, people were butchered, women were raped, human limbs were removed and children were turned into child soldiers. It was considered as inhumane and actions were taken very quickly to end this or at least make it more difficult to do. Elephants have been poached, poisoned and murdered over an extreme long period and yet you read daily of this elephant being poached or so many rhino’s poisoned. Diamonds were in some way easy to hide and to think, there are so many poachers out there that can move over 300 kg tusks without anybody even noticing it!
Wild Lions are being chased down by vehicles in national parks ‘illegally’, darted and moved to fenced parks in South Africa to be shot by a hunter ‘legally’. Lions are bred like cattle and moved within the system that is still all currently legal. They are truly bred for the bullet and the most ridiculous thing about this is; volunteers pay money to raise these cubs that will be shot in a few years; some legal and others not. They are sold in a system where they are moved between ‘sanctuaries, breeding projects and so called rehab centers’ that once it has passed through 2 hands, it is almost impossible to find them. Lions are poached from the wild to fuel this industry as people make MILLIONS from these cats. This is a flawless system in many ways and it might not be as bad as BLOOD DIAMONDS, or is it?……………………………………………..
Some people are made instant millionaires, where others make enough money to get by i.e. poachers. A rhino horn can be worth over a couple of millions, all depending on the weight and the scary part of all this is that the poacher actually receives 5 – 10 % of what the horn is actually worth, yet poaching still continues as the money received by a poacher is still worth the risk. Governments, politicians, top wildlife authorities and some wardens are easily corrupted by the money and still take the risk. Literally millions of dollars is raised annually for the fight against poaching but yet very little money is received by those people that actually put their lives at risk to combat this illegal trade. Why are the laws not stricter to prevent all this? Or at least minimize this. Is it because some of those responsible for changing the laws have a few hands in the cookie jar? Corrupt? Or not bothered as it’s not humans dying after all, just some useless animal somewhere in Africa!
Billions have been raised and sent to aid against poverty, but the only thing we saw whilst cycling through some of Africa is poverty. Makes you wonder where the money actually goes or not?
Lions, Elephants, Rhino’s and so many other species of wildlife are poisoned daily to fuel what? Greed? Jewelry? Artifacts? Medicine? Or even possibly some civil wars?
Billions of people are blinded by the truth and we all take up the mindset; out of sight out of mind. As long as we have lions to pet when we do eventually decide to take a well-deserved holiday to Africa.
Very few people actually realize what effect their money has on the tourism industry and even less people realize the ripple effects it has when you stay at a lodge, go on safari or enjoying a nice bush walk. That is tourism and there is so many locals out there relying on YOUR money to keep afloat. Next time you’re visiting a lodge, why not actually ask your local waiter more about himself/herself. You will be surprised to say the least.
With 8 000 PLUS lions held in captivity in South Africa alone, it makes you wonder how many lions are captive around the world when the US of A can afford to serve lion fillet, or lion rump steak on their menu’s in some states. Does it not make you wonder if there are over 8 000 lions held in captivity in South Africa, why are people still stealing lions from the WILD to fuel an industry? Why are poachers poisoning waterholes for cats? Could it be because the Canned Lion industry fueled the market in Vietnam/Laos with left over Lion bones and now the market has grown so much that TOP dollar will be paid for lion bones/claws and tails? Over 1 250 US is paid these days for the skull of a Lion. That is the same price you pay to fit a GPS collar on a wild lion and track that lion for a year.
Rhino horn is one of the most valued items currently circulating the wildlife trade with poaching of them being at an all-time high, yet some African Countries still allow legal hunting of them? Hunters reading this might be offended by this but in reality, it makes sense to ban ANY hunting for X period to make the illegal trade a little bit harder don’t you think? If you are hunting now as a profession, you most likely will not be hunting in the wild for much longer as it will all be gone in a few years.
Wildlife truly is fueling something, as we only touched a grain within this ocean of wildlife. The question is this; will we ever know what it fuels before its too late? Or will we be able to save what little is left.
Humans might not be dying with this trafficking, but we all know millions of animals are!