Last week, it came in the Kruger national Park in South Africa to a deadly incident. A poacher who was hunting for animals, was first trampled by an elephant to death, and later by lions eaten. The national Park regretted the death, but at the same time, the fact that such alone, to be dangerous and the more poachers, who were with the dead man on the road, due to illegal hunting would be determined.

Some people might think, the nature has struck back. However, the incident also highlights the question of how dangerous it is in such a national Park for people in General. These are the animals that would be currently something to worry about. The hunting of wild animals in South Africa, for example, legal and also the number of cases of poaching in Africa has risen enormously. According to the WWF, about 20,000 elephants die each year due to hunting for ivory. Also in the case of rhinos, the development looks bleak. John Church-gate, Africa-speaker at the WWF in Germany, explains what is behind the Wildereien and what should be done about it.

Mr Church gate, how could it succeed the killed poachers to come on the terrain of the national Park?

Such national parks are, fortunately, often very large, sometimes thousands of square kilometers, as a complete guard is not possible. With enough criminal energy and willingness to take risk, you can always find a way in these areas. Add to this that just the elephants-poachers are usually highly professional and well-equipped Criminals, who have well-connected backers. You have Jeeps, automatic weapons and night vision devices, sometimes even helicopters. Penetration is therefore usually not a Problem, it is rather a question of the Holding of such poachers.

such incidents more frequent?

elephants can be fortified, especially in the case of bad experiences with people, or if they believe their cubs are in danger. It is very uncommon to attacks on tourists. You should, however, be careful, keep your distance and behave properly. Elephant attack – if at all – usually not for no reason and without warning. Without Africa-experience or without experienced guides it is generally more risky. But even then, the risk is much greater to have an accident on the way to the national Park, for example, in the case of a car accident.

Cruel poaching

Orang-Utan-female with 74 shots riddled, but “Hope” is alive


If you look at poaching in General, how the current situation in Africa look like?

We currently have a poaching crisis. In East Africa, are gone in many areas, over 60 percent of the population of the elephants in Central Africa there are even more. The Numbers of elephants that are poached, go in the tens of Thousands. Per year there are about 20,000 killed. Today, a maximum of 400,000 elephants live in Africa. In 1900, there were around ten million. Particularly serious is it in the Congo basin, or, for example, in the South of Tanzania. There, the Numbers went down due to massive poaching within 10 years of 150,000 elephants to 15,000. This is a decrease of around 90 percent. Only with great effort could now be done to reverse this trend.

Why is poached? What are the causes of illegal hunting?

Mainly it’s the poachers for the tusks of elephants are made of ivory, and the horns of the rhinos. In Asia, both of which traded at high prices, for example, in the Form of figures or carvings from ivory, which can be seen as a status symbol or investment. The Horn of the rhinos is in Asia, in many places, as a remedy, as an aphrodisiac, or even as a party drug, although it will have no effect. The Horn is made of Keratin, exactly the Material from which our fingernails are also. In addition, many other species are hunted as a so-called ‘Bush meat’, i.e. for their meat. The demand of entire cities, acts like a giant vacuum cleaner in some of the forests in the Congo basin, one finds not a single animal, one speaks of the ‘Empty Forest syndrome’. There are also other animals but because of their supposed medicinal or “magical” effects of the poached, for example, dandruff of animals that are smuggled in large numbers to Asia. These animals are the most smuggled, gewilderte animal in the world. Overall, more and more types of smuggling are in the world but affected, many of which are threatened by extinction.

In which countries is particularly smuggled?

Rhino Horn and ivory will, in particular, to China and Vietnam and the neighbouring countries, smuggled, Asia as a whole has the highest global proportion. But it is also smuggled to other continents, so, for example, the meat or other parts of poached animals to Europe or be smuggled into the United States. Here, the illegal trade in exotic Pets plays a big role.

What favors the smuggling of poached animals?

corruption is a major problem, as is poverty, because high prices for the poaching to be paid and little money for a well-functioning protection of wild animals. In addition, many African countries have to contend with other problems to focus, not on the Problem of poaching. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, had been struggling with armed conflicts, there are still a lot of weapons and no functioning state. Poaching in many countries, but also Hand-in-Hand with corrupt officials. Poaching and the smuggling of playing an international in the same League as the drug trade or arms trade, often the various criminal activities are connected closely with each other and destabilize entire countries.

What are the ways and tactics to fight poaching?

as the smuggling globalized, the solution approaches a global. All States must contribute to the solution of the problem. The chain of the smuggling must be stopped at all limbs. The ports, in which the smuggled goods is on the conveyor, or the distributor include, for example, and the men behind. A great success is that China has closed its legal markets for ivory in the meantime. Because what’s important is that the demand is reduced. It must also be a deterrent to corrupt officials and traders need to be more fighting and the networkke behind it, and stopped to be smash, because otherwise you can’t. The people need alternative sources of Income and direct benefits from nature conservation, for example, income from nature tourism.