This page will give a quick overview on the issue of illegal animal poaching that is currently happening all around the world. We will go over some the animals that are being affected, the people who are doing the hunting and talk about the demand for the animals in the black market. Finally, we will go over the negative implications that illegal poaching will have if nothing is done to protect the animals and their habitats.
This page will is oriented and made to be very visual and will provide many images and videos that might upset some viewers. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
About three cheetahs, four to five white rhinos, and thirty to fifty elephants have been killed just today. This is just three out of the thousands of animal species that are being illegally poached at an alarming rate. Humans are currently treating this planet as if we have another one to go to. At the rate that humans are destroying natural habitats and killing wildlife, severe consequences will emerge that we will end up paying for in the end if not changed and stopped.
Due to human greed, lust, consumption or pure ignorance, many species have been illegally hunted to a point in which they are close to becoming extinct in our lifetimes. Some examples of animals that are suffering from illegal poaching are elephants, tigers, and rhinoceros.
The reason why illegal poaching continues even after countries have outlawed the animal markets is that there is still a $20 billion market every year (Wasser). Unfortunately, this has forced the market into the black market.
A piece of elephant ivory the size of a medium knife handle is worth about $150-$200 U.S (Elephant Ivory Tusks). On average, one kg sold in China can run for about $1,500. The average lower to medium class African makes about $100 a year so by killing one elephant, a person can about three times as much than the he would by just farming or working as a laborer.<a
A ten-year study looked into the effects that were caused from the severe poaching in Africa, more specifically in Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park. The study revealed that from 1970 through 1980, 93% of elephants where killed (Owens). Then the study discovered that due to the severe poaching in the park, the age of reproduction in elephant females was greatly reduced.
Entire herd of elephants was found killed by the local villagers.
Here a elephant was killed at the edge of a watering hole while it was drinking water.
A century ago, there used to be about 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now there are less than 3,200 left in the wild, and that is including all the subspecies that are found in Russia, India, Indonesia and Asia.
In China, the tiger’s body parts are used for traditional medicine. Centuries ago, only royalty or the very wealthy were able to have access to this medicine but in recent history, the middle class in China has exploded so the number of people that can afford tiger penis soup or tiger bone whine increased dramatically. This is what is driving demand for the illegal poaching for them.
Even though it is very risky and illegal in all countries, the price for a tiger still drives poachers to hunt them. A single tiger can go for about $50,000 on the black market in China.
In less than 100 years, humans have killed or forced tigers from 93% of all their former range (Chapron). Much is due to the loss of their natural prey and the depletion of their habitat, which is being lost at about thirty-six football fields of forest a minute (WWF). Because of this, human and tiger conflict have been increasing.
This story of the tiger is very similar to many other large carnivore species around the globe like the wolves of North America, the cougars of Mexico, the jaguars of South America, and the big cats of Africa.
Tigers are sometimes cut in half to make them easier to transport and smuggle.
Jaguars are being hit very hard by ranchers, deforestation and illegal poaching.
Tigers are usually caught by traps and snares. Then killed by the poacher when they come back to check on the trap.