What is poaching?
Poaching is the hunting of wildlife in a place where such practices are forbidden by violates local, state, or federal laws. It can include killing animals out of season or without a license, with an illegal weapon, or in a way that is unlawful. In addition, killing endangered species, killing an animal while trespassing, or exceeding the limit of kills are also considered poaching.
What is happening?
Across Africa, poaching continues to be an issue, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, poachers have been more active during the pandemic. In early September of this year alone, 26 great apes were recovered from smugglers leaving the Congo. In Zambia, large numbers of pangolin scales were recovered alongside 32 live chimpanzees.
Botswana has seen an increase in trafficking as well, and debates have arisen concerning arming the rangers to better protect wildlife. Unfortunately, some local communities have been forced to turn to poaching in order to secure meat and other animal parts to help combat the layoffs caused by the pandemic.
Why is this suprising?
In other parts of the world, poaching and animal trafficking has slowed as borders close and travel restrictions are imposed. However, a number of countries in Africa have seen a rise in both private and commercial animal and animal product trafficking.
How can you help?
Get involved with and donate to anti-poaching organizations such as:
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