Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 1.5 tons of illegal ivory was seized from a suburban home in Kampala, Uganda.
Elephants tusks are an poachers dream, the ivory can sell for up to $1,000 a pound on the streets in China according to The African Wildlife Foundation. Approximately 35,000 Elephants have been killed in Africa alone. However elephants aren’t the only animal desired.Rhinos, lions, tigers, zebras, hippos, leopards, turtles, and gorillas are also among poacher’s favorite.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, have launched the United for Wildlife program, whose mission is to unite all of the top wildlife charities and create a global movement. Prince William said, “I believe passionately that we have a duty to prevent critically endangered species from being wiped out. If we get together, everywhere, we can preserve these animals so that they share our world with future generations.”
Many people look at the products of endangered animals as luxuries, like ivory and skinned rugs. Others find it appalling, like Tori Casolo (18’), “It is not morally right, people are killing an animal for something that they have that's considered valuable. They take the lives of parents leaving the young ones to fend for themselves. They don’t realize that in the process of killing these harmless animals, they’re making them endangered.” Ivory is used to make jewelry, religious figures, trinkets, and utensils. When asked if she would buy goods made from endangered animals, Chrissy Kirst (18’) said, “If I knew a product was from an illegally poached animal I would not buy it. By doing so it is only saying that it is okay to harm animals for your own benefit. The animals didn’t ask to be killed, their fate was not to be turned into jewelry.”
What can be done to stop the vicious poaching cycle? Drone technology and biotagging are two of the ways researchers have proposed dealing with this crisis. By using biotagging, officials can place sensors on the animals which can track heart rate, and can be used to see if an animal has been shot, allowing authorities to get to the scene in time. Drone technology when combined with biotagging can be used to guide authorities to the poaching scene while also gathering photo and video evidence.