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The Problem with Poaching

January 27, 2015

We’ll be lucky if we see wild rhinos on our trip this year, because if problems persist, they could be extinct during our lifetimes.

During our trip to South Africa, we’re going to spend quite a bit of time surrounded by wildlife.  Hopefully not actually out in the wilderness, surrounded by angry hyenas or anything that drastic, but this trip will be completely unlike anything TAP has experienced before.  Our African adventure begins with time in the Lion Park, getting to see, and even touch, lions and other animals that can not be released in the wild.  Then we head to the elephant sanctuary where we get to spend time with the largest land animals in the world, but they’re not in the wild either. I haven’t personally been to either place before, but I would imagine that as fun as it will be to get up close and personal with those creatures, the obvious fact that they aren’t in the wild and cannot be.

Late in our trip, we’ll visit Kruger National Park, Table Mountain National Park, a penguin sanctuary, and several other wildlife areas.  The animals we encounter in those places don’t have the same level of safety that the ones in the sanctuary or the Lion Park enjoy.  There are, of course, laws to protect them, but those laws aren’t always followed.  This activity is designed to give you a better understanding of what’s going on and why.

Our trip to South Africa is going to be filled with many wonderful and beautiful animals that can only be seen in Illinois at a zoo.  We are getting the unique and wonderful opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitat.  However, during the research I’ve done for this trip I’ve come across the issue of poaching and anti-poaching regularly.  It is very concerning that at the present rate of poaching the rhinoceros could be extinct in my lifetime.  Your children and grandchildren will be only be able to learn of them through pictures and stories on the internet.  This greatly saddens me.

I chose articles and videos that are included in this post to give us a look at poaching as a whole.  When you have completed the articles and the videos I would like to know your thoughts and opinions.  Please use these questions to get you started.  I would appreciate multiple responses to your classmates as I feel this topic should be discussed in depth as it will be something we hear about on our trip.  Most information on South African poaching is focused on the rhinoceros as it is nearly extinct.  However,  many of the animals we will see and discuss are killed for their meat, teeth, or other parts.

First, read this short article from the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.  We may think that poaching is a problem from history, but this article tells us that more rhinos were killed illegally in 2014 than had been in years, some of them in protected areas.

Huffington Post recently posted an article about dogs being trained to sniff out rhino horn and ivory, and other things that poachers are after, as an effort to catch criminals and prevent more animals from being harmed.  This article also has a really cool slideshow at the bottom that gives you a look at the 100 most endangered species on Earth.

Of course, there are many people working hard to develop anti-poaching measures and ways to protect these endangered animals.  The December article from CNN talks about some of those efforts, and the page links to several interesting videos about the topic.

Once you’ve read those three articles, take a look at these three short videos.




Now that you know a little bit more about poaching in South Africa, especially the dangers some of the animals we will se are facing, spend some time thinking about the following questions.  Don’t just post your immediate reactions after reading the articles and watching the videos.  Take some time to reflect and think about what you’ve learned.  Then come back and answer these questions in the comments section.

Wait a few more days, then come back and check for other students’ answers.  Take a few minutes to respond to them as well.

Why is poaching bad?

What are the long term effects of poaching?

What can be done to discourage poaching?

Why do you think the current measures will be effective? or ineffective?

What ideas do you have to enforce anti-poaching measures?

Is the American who joined the anti-poaching force is a hero or a nut?  Why?

Every student from our 2015 trip to South Africa should be participating in this activity.  If you are a former or future traveler, or a parent stopping by for a visit, you are welcome to play along too.  All South Africa travelers should complete their entries before our March meeting.

79 Comments leave one →
  1. Jaden Easton permalink
    January 27, 2015 7:29 pm

    Save the Rhinos!!!

  2. erin seymour permalink
    January 29, 2015 6:48 pm

    just like in the videos, we should hire even more people to hunt down and arrest the poachers. train even more people to be hero’s. inform more people to help with the project. and I completely agree with that last video. I thought it was a great idea. make the horns unappealing to poachers make it so they don’t want to kill the rhinos. these are the best ways to prevent the extinction of the rhinos. one question. how long did those people train to save the rhinos and will we be seeing some in a sanctuary when we go to south Africa?

    • January 31, 2015 8:36 pm

      We are going to an elephant sanctuary. I don’t know if there are rhinos at that sanctuary, though.

      These questions are from Mr. Keaton for Erin or anyone else who responds here:
      How did the videos and articles make you feel?
      Why types of punishments should these poachers get?
      Hiring more people is a great idea, but where to do you get the funding for that?

      • Kelsie Stanley permalink
        February 1, 2015 1:23 pm

        Raising awareness for the rhinos could spread information and make people want to do donate. That could be possible source of funding. Anyone who is caught poaching should be put in jail to prevent them from doing it again.

        • February 2, 2015 9:37 am

          That’s a good idea. Some sort of Save the Rhinos advertising campaign might work. In the 60s and 70s there were a lot of Save the Whales campaigns that did a lot of good for whales, not it might be the rhino’s turn.

  3. Kelsie Stanley permalink
    January 31, 2015 5:28 pm

    Both the short and long term effects of poaching are terrible. Short term, an animal is killed and someone does something illegal, usually without being caught. Long term, an entire species can go extinct, such as the rhinos. I think stronger enforcement of poaching laws and strengthened border fences would help with keeping poachers out of the areas. The idea of injecting the horns with metallic material seems to be a great to keep them from being sent out of the country. Current measures need to be strengthened because the numbers of rhinos is still decreasing drastically. The American who attended training camp had a great idea; if you believe in something and want it fixed, take action. That’s exactly hat he did.

    • January 31, 2015 8:47 pm

      Take a look at the questions Mr. Keeton posted in response to Erin’s comment above.

  4. Brian Cottingim permalink
    February 1, 2015 10:45 pm

    Is the American who joined the anti-poaching force is a hero or a nut? Why?

    Poaching is bad because there is only a small amount of rhinoceroses living today and if they are dieing faster than they can procreate, then they are bound to go extinct. And as one of the guys said, our children and our grandchildren will have to look on the internet to find out what a rhino looked like. As I learned in 7th Grade if a species goes extinct it affects the species predictors and prey and the entire food chain. Although rhinos are herbivores, their predictors like the alligator, wild dogs, large felines, and hyenas, could be affected by rhinos going extinct. The population of alligators and wild dogs and cats would go down because they would have nothing to eat. Then their prey’s species would go up, etc. I believe that poisoning the horns did and will continue to help. I noticed in the first video that it is a life sentence to be poaching. 100% agree with the idea. To think of what the government COULD be doing about the problem is hard. They have already done so much. The only idea that pops into my head is to hire more and more and more anti-poaching land “soldiers” and just enforce the laws more and more. The current measures should hold up for sometime, but people against the law will find was to get around the laws and enforcements. For right now these enforcements are effective but in the future will go down the drain. I feel like the only way to stop this IS formal education about the species, the economy around it and how the economy would be affected by all the rhinos being killed. I dislike the last question because of the way TAP worded it. He is not a nut because he believed in something good and perused it. But I would not consider him a hero because he hasn’t gone to extraordinary lengths to help the problem. Plus, no one is a hero by JOINING something. It is simply to do greater good. He is being what I would call,”selfless.” To be honest I did not feel a lot from these videos. Coming from an extended family that hunts a lot, I compared hunting to poaching, there’s not much difference. Only that rhinos are almost extinct, and they barley use any of the body for meat, or anything.(In hunting people use most of an animal’s body/ flesh trying not to waste anything.) But I do think the situation is rather sad.
    “Brian’s big idea”: They should take the ivory from the horns they confiscated sell them to legal, innocent people at a low price to discourage poachers then, take the money and hire ground patrols to catch poachers.

    • February 2, 2015 9:34 am

      It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into this comment, Brian. Keep it up.

    • Kelsie Stanley permalink
      February 8, 2015 3:29 pm

      I completely agree with the idea of somehow lowering prices to make the horns unappealing, but if the poachers still continue, they will need more rhinos to earn the same profit. This might lead to even more rhinos being killed because the poachers still want a large sum of money. Additionally, more effort should be put into educating people who believe rhino horns have medical benefits. I understand that it would be difficult because that is part of their culture, but I feel like educating the people and showing them the effects of their actions can make some difference.

      • Brian Cottingim permalink
        February 19, 2015 1:40 pm

        Kelsie, I totally agree with you, but I also think we should educate the poachers. Explain to them that they wont have anything to kill after rhinos go extinct. Educate them that they are poisoning the horns, educate them that they will send you to jail for life, hopefully without bail. And what is hard to think about is that so many people understand what would happen if Rhinos went extinct, But a few hundred people don’t. People would loose their jobs. Not only the poachers, but people that want to save rhinos, that have dedicated their life to helping rhinos. Like if children were born with all their knowledge they would need for the rest of their lives, teacher would be devastated, they would loose their jobs, billions of dollars would be wasted.

        • February 19, 2015 2:33 pm

          Do you think the poachers, even if they’re educated, care that the rhinos are nearly extinct? If there are no more rhinos, don’t you think they’d just move on to another animal with some value to it – elephant tusks, hippo teeth, lion pelts…?

          • Brian Cottingim permalink
            February 19, 2015 4:54 pm

            That’s where the government can sell the ivory at controlled limits to make value of animal parts. Then the demand of ivory would also go down. But it’s easier said than done.

  5. Jordan Springer permalink
    February 2, 2015 12:39 pm

    In my mind, poaching is a huge problem in the world, and in Africa in particular. There’s a reason why laws concerning hunting are created, and that’s to protect the animal population. When people ignore these rules, the effects are terrible. Short term, animals are killed or injured, affecting the animals’ families and the local population. Long term, it makes the gene pool smaller and can drive the species to extinction. There are many ways to discourage poaching, but I think that some are more effective than others. Overall, I think that current methods won’t be very effective and we need to keep innovating and coming up with new ideas. No matter how much physical protection we place around the rhinos, poachers will find a way. I have two ideas for preventing poaching. Firstly, I think that Africa should use undercover agents/informants to infiltrate the black market where these illegally acquired items are sold, as this would allow them to destroy the community from the inside out. Secondly, instead of focusing on placing troops around the actual animals, we should try to educate the culture who believes in using rhino horns for medicinal purposes. Although I think we need to keep culture alive in this modern day and age, there is a point where something needs to be done, and we have reached this point. Also, I think that the man who joined the Pro Track team is a hero. He is abandoning the comforts of home to protect these mostly helpless animals. That’s a good person in my book.

    • February 2, 2015 4:48 pm

      How do you think we could generate more funds to pay for the extra agents and enforcement of the laws?

      • Jordan Springer permalink
        February 10, 2015 8:21 pm

        Perhaps higher taxes, government fundraisers, or simply having the S.A. government invest more into this conservation.

        • February 17, 2015 7:50 am

          How do you think the regular people in South Africa would react to higher taxes?

          • Jordan Springer permalink
            February 22, 2015 12:58 pm

            I think that the regular people, for the most part, would be unhappy and upset, but it would at least be going towards a good cause.

    • Kelsie Stanley permalink
      February 8, 2015 3:31 pm

      Having “undercover agents” within the black market would be extremely helpful, in my opinion.

      • Hannah Breier permalink
        February 28, 2015 6:01 pm

        I agree with Kelsie and Jordan. This is an awesome idea and although the population would be upset with the higher taxes, we could educate them onto how terrible poaching really is.

  6. Emily Blenck permalink
    February 2, 2015 2:55 pm

    1) Why is poaching bad?
    Well, in my opinion, the cruelty and harmful affects of poaching should be blankly obvious. For one, killing innocent and perfectly healthy animals for a certain part of their bodies, or any part of their bodies for that matter, only to sell them in a form of illegal trade is awful and against all kinds of laws. Not only that, but most animals that are victims of poaching are at a huge risk to extinction. As stated in the second video, if poachers keep it up our future generations are going to have to go to museums and look up old pictures online to see what a rhino looks like. Even thinking about really puts a toll on our thoughts about subjects like this.
    2) What are the long term affects of poaching?
    Like I said before, animals that are killed from poaching are already at risk of extinction in the first place. There are less than 2,000 rhinos that are alive, and if poachers are killing at the rate they are now, there will soon be none.
    3) What can be done to discourage poaching?
    As said in the last video, some wildlife are planning to inject a poisonous dye in the rhino’s horns so poachers will get very sick by touching the horns of the animal. A process like this would send out a warning to people that they’re at a risk to illness if they even try to attempt to harm a rhino. Lately, several wildlife parks and other animal safety centers have been educating people about the affects of poaching to hopefully slow down the intense rate of the illegal activity.
    4) Why do you think these measures will be effective or ineffective?
    As many people put it, nothing is perfect. I do feel as if on some level, poisoning the horns will start ringing some warning bells, yet at the same time, people will always find a way around things. I think that educating people on these issues is incredibly effective because it sort of puts things into perspective that many people tend to ignore. Having trained soldiers protecting the parks is also something I feel that puts the “anti poaching” idea on the right track.
    5) What ideas do you have to enforce anti-poaching measures?
    In my opinion, education is the gateway to everything. I think if more people knew about the intense risk of extinction most of these animals are at, they would be more likely to not attempt to poach. But again, not all people suffer from heavy hearts. Making sure people know the legal consequences to poaching will maybe scare them a bit. Kinda like that one show where they take bad teens into a prison to show them how their lives will be like if they keep their behavior up(I think it was called “Scared Straight” I don’t know but you get the point) Yet the hardest people to get to is the people who believe that rhino horns are cures and medication. As for that, I can’t really think of a perfect solution. Introducing these cultures to the affects of their practices might have some toll on them, but that of course, will take awhile.
    6) Is the American who joined the anti- poaching team a hero or a nut? Why?
    A hero. The fact that someone goes though that amount of intense training in order to protect a certain species obviously has an amazing sense of character.
    As for my view on this, I believe through my previous answers it should be obvious. Poaching needs to come to an end. The death of innocent animals for profit needs to stop. The only thing that can completely turn this process around is humanity its self. Thankfully there are several people as seen in the videos that are trying their hardest to make that change as soon as possible. Until then, it’s sad to say that nothing can possibly turn out differently.

    • February 2, 2015 4:51 pm

      Emily, will educating people about the dangers of poaching really work if some people are hunting illegally because it’s the only way they can feed their family? What should be done in those cases? Do those people deserve life imprisonment?

      • Emily Blenck permalink
        February 14, 2015 11:40 am

        I guess when one problem is solved several more problems open up. I think the answer for those questions can be taken in many ways. If people were informed of the severe consequences of poaching there could be a possibility that they would attempt to find another way to make money, yet hard times call for hard measures. It sort of reminds me of our lesson on the gold mines where people would risk their lives just for some profit. But as much as it hurts to say it, with the amount of rhinos that have been lost and the amount of time that they have to live is increasing too fast for people to be lenient on poachers. You do the crime, you do the time, you know? I feel as if if this was for something that wasn’t at such a fever pitch right now there could be more room for mercy, but time for the rhinos is running out. There’s no room for sympathy when it comes to permanent extinction.

        • February 17, 2015 7:46 am

          Do the crime/do the time is great, but how do you catch the poachers in the first place?

          • Emily Blenck permalink
            February 17, 2015 4:30 pm

            I was reading some of the other comments and I really like the idea of undercover people getting involved in the black market to catch poachers and maybe even other criminals. As for when the poachers are actually out killing the animals, maybe they could add more people onto the “poaching force” just like the American dude in the video we watched. Enforcing car searches and stuff could also be very effective when it comes to searching for the poached body parts. I believe all of these tactics are already being used now (except for maybe the first one) but I feel as if they are not enforced as much as they could be to completely put poaching to an end.

            • February 18, 2015 7:57 am

              Where does the South African government get money to enforce these laws better?

  7. erin seymour permalink
    February 7, 2015 4:08 pm

    I am answering your questions here
    the videos made me feel horrible. I didn’t know it was that bad. People are evil though and the videos made me want to fix the problem
    the people doing horrible things to the poor innocent rhinos should be thrown in jail, for life, so that they can never commit such crimes again. this will warn the other poachers to stay away. it will show them what might happen to them if they destroy any more wildlife for money.
    About the funding
    I think they could put aside some of the country’s money just for the rhinos. I think it would really help if they spent more money on hiring people to be cops instead of not pull the money from the country’s funds and lose an important animal of South Africa.

  8. Cameron Smith permalink
    February 8, 2015 10:58 am

    Poaching is bad because it puts animals at risk of being put endangered or possible extinction. The long term effects of poaching are extinction with in our lifetime. Can you imagine our next generation asking us what a rhino was? I feel like poaching could be discouraged by playing public service announcements on TV with statistics on the population of rhinos. I think the current measures are effective especially posioning the horn. Think about it the horn is worth so much because of it medicinal value so if it was made worthless poachers wouldn’t collect them. I think to stop poaching a preserve should be made that isn’t available to the public and is tightly secured to keep poachers out. I think the American who joined the anti poaching force is a hero because he traveled out to South Africa him self to help enforce anti poaching.

    • February 8, 2015 2:24 pm

      What should the penalty for poaching be? What about people who only hunt illegally, because they have no other way to feed their family?

      • Kelsie Stanley permalink
        February 8, 2015 3:38 pm

        I never realized that some people were doing this to feed their family. That puts the situation on a whole different level that can be related back to poverty rates, hunger statistics, and other large world issues. If you really think about it, the anti-poaching measures are actually doing way more than just protecting the rhinos.

      • Brian Cottingim permalink
        February 19, 2015 1:50 pm

        While I was looking at some comments and statistics at the same time, I learned that 1 in 4 people are unemployed in South Africa. Let me remind you that this includes stay at home mothers and unemployed collage students over the age of 18. This is compared to 5 unemployed to 100 people in the US. I believe if SA would create more jobs, like we are now, poaching would also decrease.

        • February 19, 2015 2:34 pm

          How? Who has the money to pay people to do these new jobs?

          • Brian Cottingim permalink
            February 19, 2015 4:45 pm

            That is a problem almost every country is facing, including ours. It is a difficult question to awnser. I only know of two ways big corps. And country’s get money. 1.) Donation 2.) Taxing.
            These are two hard things to get. And for man power the only free things you can get is volunteers. It boggles my mind and lots of politicians’.

  9. Kate Gall permalink
    February 14, 2015 11:15 am

    Poaching is a terrible act that should not be allowed and the people that are disobeying the law should be put into jail. These animals can become quickly endangered if people don’t start to take action towards poaching. I think people poach for the money of their horns and other parts, if they are in need of food they should try finding food other ways instead of killing wild life.

  10. Stephanie Melendez permalink
    February 18, 2015 10:59 pm

    1. Why is poaching bad?
    Poaching is bad because poor innocent animals are being killed for certain body parts that can be used for illegal trading. Poachers don’t realize what great danger they are doing by harming these rhinos. These rhino’s are dying and are at the point of becoming extinct just so people can have their horns and just to benefit themselves. To be completely honest, the whole concept of poaching and poachers just makes me sick to my stomach. Still to this day I’m confused as to why a person would want to kill a healthy, poor, innocent, animal.
    2. What are the long term effects of poaching?
    In order for these poachers to get the horns of these rhino’s, they have to kill them first. Right now, there is an estimation of 2,000 rhino’s left in Africa. At the rate these poachers are killing them, they should be extinct by 2017. This just seems unreal to me that people can kill 2,000 rhinos in a matter of 2 years.
    3.What can be done to discourage poaching?
    Some wild life preserves are injecting a poisonous dye into the rhino’s horn so when the poachers got to touch they will get very sick. This dye will most likely send out a warning to the poachers because they now know that they will be at risk of getting sick just by touching the animals horn. Also, people are going through some pretty intense training camps that will teach young men how to stop the poachers, arrest them, but most importantly save the animals from these poachers. These men are really brave for going through that intense training camp. To be completely honest, I probably wouldn’t even be able to last a day in that training session! These strong and courageous men are stopping those poachers and saving the rhinos!
    4. Why do you think the current measures will be effective? or ineffective?
    In my opinion, I think that the current measures are quite effective. This is because the poisonous dye will start to warn the poachers that we are planning ways to stop them from hurting these poor animals. Now, they most likely won’t stop but they’re going to get sick if they decide to touch the horn of that rhino. THAT’S PAYBACK FOR ALL THE HARM YOU HAVE CAUSED FOR THE RHINO’S! I also think current measures will be effective because “anti-poaching” programs are educating people on how to save these animals from harms way. If we get enough people who care about saving animals and keeping them out of danger then we will be sure to blow the poachers out of the water!
    5.What ideas do you have to enforce anti-poaching measures?
    In my opinion, I understand that teaching people about the dangers and harms of poaching is very important, but that is in no way stopping those poachers from harming those animals. I think that people who really care about these animals should take that next step and start protecting them instead of just sitting here and hearing about the death of many rhinos caused by poachers. We need to get patrol men out on the streets to start checking cars if they suspect that someone had horns or any other features of animals that is illegal to have. We also need to get people trained in order to go out in the wild and sneak up on those poachers and end what they are doing right at that moment. I really hope someone from Africa considers my idea to end poaching because I feel it would benefit this situation very well!
    6.Is the American who joined the anti-poaching force is a hero or a nut? Why?
    The American who joined the anti-poaching force is not a nut in any way possible, I consider him a brave and courageous hero! He was put in a training camp that probably had to be one of the toughest things anyone could possibly go through. Half way through the training camp, about 12 men had left because they said it was to hard and got to be to much for them. The American was then named leader of the group and led the rest of his fellow members through the rest of the training camp. For being the only American in the group, he had proved to his leader that he was a strong and powerful individual. This American didn’t have to go through any of this hard work but he wanted to because he wants poaching to be done and over with already. If anything this American anti-force men is a hero to the rhino’s and other animals because he has dedicated his life in order to save theirs!

    • February 19, 2015 7:37 am

      So you think we should just wait and see if the current methods work, not do anything proactive at this point?

      • Stephanie Melendez permalink
        February 19, 2015 8:13 am

        I think people who want to save these animals from the poachers should all come together as a group and stop them. We can’t waste any time on poaching because the life of an animal will be lost and they will be one step closer to becoming extinct.

        • February 19, 2015 8:27 am

          Coming together sounds great, but what do they do once they’re all together, hold hands and form a ring around the endangered animals?

          • Stephanie Melendez permalink
            February 20, 2015 10:49 am

            They can go through the training like the American did in the one video, so they properly know how to stop the poachers.

  11. CJ Moody permalink
    February 21, 2015 7:53 pm

    Wow! I never really realized it was this bad!
    Poaching isn’t only bad because it means the rhinos won’t survive but also the food chain and other animals will be affected too. Killing an animal for one piece, or killing them all together is wrong for anyone, even if its part of religion. As for the long term effects of poaching, all of the animals around the rhinos, and as i said before, the food chain will be messed up. The future generations won’t know what a rhino looks like, what it is, and thats not fair to the animals. I really liked the ideas of dropping prices so it makes them not want to anymore because they’re not really getting any benefit out of the poaching anymore. The whole ink portion of thoughts wasn’t really clear to me how it would stop it except the people that use it as “cure”. The current measures once used together will be effective in some sort of way, but in my personal belief, much more has to be done if we want to get the decline of rhino poaching going. If we already see through the articles that the poachers are able to easily surpass the officials in the park then we need more security, more protection for these animals. In regards to enforcing the anti poaching, although its not what they want, they need to bring them into an enclosed facility to reproduce and keep them kept safe for a short while so that they have time to get out of the endangered list. Matt is a HERO. No ifs ands or buts. The man traveled across the world to go save animals. He has a true love for the animals and protecting them.

  12. Maddy Trouvais permalink
    February 22, 2015 9:45 pm

    1) Why is poaching bad? Poaching is bad because when you poach, you are killing innocent animals just for a few parts that they have and just leaving the rest. That isn’t fair to the habitat because the more animals that go, the more the food chain could be messed up and the less animals of that species there are. Everything about poaching is bad, really.

    2) What are the long term effects of poaching? The long term effects are that the species of that animal that the poachers are going for is just becoming less and less every time a poacher succeeds in what they are doing. Sooner or later, all of those animals are going to be gone and they are going to become extinct. It also over time could lead to failures in the habitat.

    3) What can be done to discourage poaching? Some things that can be done to discourage this could be to start more anti-poaching groups where the poaching happens most. They could also have seminars for all of the effects that could happen with poaching because the poachers don’t exactly and fully know that they are doing so much harm to an area just for a part of an animal. Also, more people should stand up to all the poachers and stop poaching entirely and renew the areas.

    4) Why do you think the current measures will be effective? Or ineffective? I think that the current measures we are taking are obviously ineffective because nothing is really changing. Poachers are still killing these rhinos for their horns and that hasn’t changed. They are ineffective because there’s very few clubs and organizations that are behind the fact that it isn’t a good thing to do. There needs to be more and the issue needs to become more known, and so far that really isn’t happening. And, barely anyone is taking a stand against this, otherwise it wouldn’t be happening so frequently.

    5) What ideas do you have to enforce anti-poaching measures? Well, as I already said, there should be more organizations and more people need to take a stand against poaching, so it can stop as soon as possible and stay stopped so that these animals aren’t harmed any longer.

    6) Is the American who joined the anti-poaching force a hero or a nut? Why? He is a hero because he is the only American who joined this force to go against poachers. This sets a precedent for other Americans to also do as he did and join the force against it. He is also a hero because he knew that Americans needed to step in and show the South Africans that America also cares about what is happening to them and can help stop it.

    • Maddy Trouvais permalink
      February 22, 2015 9:46 pm

      6) (cont.) Also, that man went through so much to show that he cared about these animals more than anything and was willing to do anything to help the force against poaching.

    • February 23, 2015 7:26 am

      Besides Rhinos, what other animals are endangered because of poachers?

      • Maddy Trouvais permalink
        February 23, 2015 6:35 pm

        Well, theres also the Brydes Whales and the South African hedgehog, which i also wrote articles about so thats how i found out about them. theres probably alot of others but those are the 2 i know now.

  13. Yazmine Thomas permalink
    February 27, 2015 12:26 pm

    I believe that the poaching of rhinos will decrease their population, thus decreasing other animals population due to the food-chain. It seems as if a rhino has to die before any of the plans comes into action. For example, the dogs only help after a rhino is killed. South Africans need to find a way to stop rhinos from being killed without a rhino having to die . I think Brandon, the field guide, shared some interesting, effective ideas on how to stop poaching. My idea to prevent poaching is to put in place a law that effects the people who purchase a animal’s parts. The reason poachers kill is to make money. By prohibiting people from buying poached goods, then they are stopping poachers from poaching.

    • February 27, 2015 12:35 pm

      Many of the poached goods are sold to people in other countries where receiving those goods is not against the law. How do you get them to comply with laws from another country when they’re not breaking laws of their own?

      • Yazmine Thomas permalink
        February 28, 2015 9:22 am

        That’s a good question. I don’t think it would be possible to get foreigners to comply with laws from South Africa. How about offering people a reward for turning poachers in ? That is the only other thing I can think of.

  14. Hannah Breier permalink
    February 28, 2015 5:53 pm

    I never really understood how bad poaching was. The first video with the trainee’s really hit me. It showed in action poachers and how cruel they were.
    1. Why is poaching bad?
    Poaching is simply for the benefit of others. They are selfish individuals who power the illegal trade market. The animals (Rhinos in particular) are being killed for just one thing- their horns. Babies are being abandoned and every kill is closer to extinction. Poaching scares me because even with the military forces they have, they can’t stop every kill. The killers also just leave the bodies behind to decay and be eaten.
    2. What are the long term effects of poaching?
    This is obvious- many species will become extinct. Our kids and grandkids will only be able to see pictures of them, and wonder what they were ever like. It is estimated that by 2017 the rhinos could be extinct.
    3. What can be done to discourage poaching?
    I think that creating groups like the ones in the first video will be effective. They can check cars at the boarders, search for poachers, and they are taught what to do in a case. I also think that tagging and moving some of the rhinos to a sanctuary would be effective. This will give not only the animals but the officials a relief. One question- is there a fence around the perimeter of Kruger National Park? Couldn’t the officials keep poachers out by this? Another possible idea is to charge vehicles or individuals that come in.
    4. Why do you think the current measures will be effective? Or ineffective?
    I believe that every little bit helps. All of the ideas contribute to the rhino population. However, eventually they are going to fall short and we will need to come up with a bigger solution to the problem. For example, take the toxins put on the rhinos horn. It is not a guarantee that the poachers will get intoxicated, and they could come up with a way to prevent that. We need to come up with something bigger that will really discourage poaching.
    5. What ideas do you have to enforce anti-poaching measures?
    I think there are two major ways that we can enforce anti-poaching measures. One way is to begin teaching the youth that this is wrong. This is going to take a while, but it is going to educate the kids about what they shouldn’t do. The second reason is quicker, and it is to place more military groups and patrol groups on foot and above ground. The men on foot would do an amazing job at protecting and prosecuting the poachers (if they are trained). And the men above ground can spot the poachers.
    6. Is the American who joined the anti-force a hero or a nut? Why or why not?
    The American is FOR SURE a hero. He is taking action and working his butt off to do what he believes and what he can do to help. I admire him for doing such hard things, just for the sake of wildlife. All the people who come together to help are hero’s.

    • March 1, 2015 9:41 am

      Poaching is the illegal hunting of animals that are protected. The videos you watched were mostly about using one part of those animals to make money – however some poachers poach because killing those animals are the only way to feed their families – what do you think about them?

      • Hannah Breier permalink
        March 1, 2015 11:59 am

        I never really thought about that. I still think it is wrong period- to poach protected animals. I think that they are trying to feed their families, but it needs to be done in a different way. The government could set up a food stamp (like here in the US) and give them a certain amount per month.

  15. Hannah Breier permalink
    March 1, 2015 7:31 pm

    The government can take money from tourist entrances or they can again raise taxes.

    • March 2, 2015 7:09 am

      Raising prices for tourist attractions might be a good idea, but how do you think the South African citizens (many of whom are very poor) would react to having their taxes raised?

      • Hannah Breier permalink
        March 2, 2015 12:15 pm

        They would probably react violently or with protests. Now that i think about it, raising prices for tourist attractions would be the better idea.

  16. Dylan Blough permalink
    March 4, 2015 10:37 pm

    Why is poaching bad?
    -Poaching is a bad thing because people are killing endangered animals and bringing them closer to extinction for profit.

    What are the long term effects of poaching?
    -The long term effects of poaching are that the population goes down while they cant breed enough to catch up.

    What can be done to discourage poaching?
    -I like the current measures, the toxic dye is a great start to end this epidemic.

    Why do you think the current measures will be effective? or ineffective?
    -I agree with the guy in the last video, what we really need is education. But I think the horn dye is a great start.

    What ideas do you have to enforce anti-poaching measures?
    – I think tougher patrol on the borders of game parks. Not just at gates, but the full perimeter.

    Is the American who joined the anti-poaching force is a hero or a nut? Why?
    – I think he should be looked at as a hero. I think this because he is setting the lead to show that Americans can go and be on the front line in Africa and defend the animals from poachers.

    • March 5, 2015 7:49 am

      How do you pay for tougher patrol on the borders of the game parks?

      • Dylan Blough permalink
        March 5, 2015 11:13 pm

        I think that it should be brought upon all residents of a jurisdiction, in the form of tax. Just like people pay a property tax for local government organizations here in Illinois, regardless if you use it or not. I think the same idea should be applied here.

        • March 6, 2015 2:35 pm

          This has been proposed a few times, so I’m hoping you have a good answer to the next question – How do you think the citizens of South Africa would react to an increase in their taxes?

          • Dylan Blough permalink
            March 6, 2015 4:38 pm

            As with any tax increase, there will be supporters and critics. I think that most people wouldn’t be happy. But, if the government spread it out between things, it could make it a little less painful. For example, if you put a few pennies on property tax, a few on car registration and other DMV transactions, some on Tobacco and Alcohol, etc and spread it over all over the country, you could make a good amount and only take a little at a time.

        • Austin Stein permalink
          March 11, 2015 10:26 pm

          I hadn’t thought of an increase in taxes to help with conservation efforts; that actually sounds like an excellent solution! However, I’m sure with any increase in tax, not everyone is going to be on board. It might help for those being taxed to know what their money is going towards, but it’d definitely be seen in a negative light. Still, it’s not a bad idea!

  17. Austin Stein permalink
    March 11, 2015 10:21 pm

    Poaching is extremely harmful to the environment. With the rate poaching is approaching, the rhinoceros population will end up extinct. If the rhino ends extinct, the natural order will end up in a scramble. Rhinos are high on the food chain, meaning if it’s completely gone, the species it ate will start to overpopulate, and what that species eats will end up lessening in population at an unnatural rate, to a point where that species may become endangered. It becomes a cycle of overpopulation of one animal and the endangering of another, leading to a complete upset in nature. One method to discourage poaching would be not only to educate the people of South Africa the problems poaching causes but to put into effect harsher consequences for committing the crime. Like the gentleman in the third video, it wouldn’t be overnight, but the slow adjustment and teaching of the citizens will eventually lead to a breakthrough. Meanwhile, enforcing harsher punishments will act as a short term prevention method while the people are being taught. Though, personally, I’m unsure what else could be done; the video with the American stated the punishment was life in prison, so possibly being interrogated for more information could be an extension of it. I believe the current measures being conducted will be effective simply because, like those squads against poaching, people are passionate about this cause. This is also why I believe the American, Matt, who joined the force is not a “nut:” he has great passion about saving these animals and preventing their demise. Passion for a cause has always been a massive driving force for humanity, and this is no different. With the current measures in place, I’m confident our grandchildren will have the rhinoceros around. However, it’s not a terrible idea to continue the increasing the awareness and effort being put in to protect these animals. The more people understand, the faster the problem of poaching will be over.

    • March 12, 2015 7:32 am

      It’s not a terrible idea from where we sit, because they aren’t our taxes and we don’t lose the money. How would you feel if a percentage of your money was taken, without your consent, for something you don’t feel affects you at all?

      • Austin Stein permalink
        March 12, 2015 7:56 pm

        Hmm… I see your point. If I didn’t know what my hard earned money is going toward or simply didn’t care about the cause, then yes, I may be upset. But sometimes, we as people have simply go with it. It’s not as if the entire government became corrupt; it’s only a few more dollars. And that’s why the people need to be educated so then there’s a chance they’ll care. And even if it doesn’t effect you, it will effect the next few generations. From what I’ve seen, people will do anything for their children. Honestly, I’d be surprised if this would be the exception.

  18. Gianna Kriechbaum permalink
    March 11, 2015 11:17 pm

    Why is poaching bad? That shouldn’t even be a question. There are so many reasons not to poach. One reason, you’re killing innocent animals that have feelings and love and thats just wrong. Another reason, if you kill all of the animals now we wont have them in the future. We wont have rhinos in the future if people keep poaching them one after another. When were older, would you rather take your kids to a zoo and say “look, thats a rhino” or “thats an elephant”, or would you rather have to open up a book of extinct animals and have your child learn what a rhino is that way. I realize that they are taken for a certain reason and not just to be killed. In world cultures, we just went over poaching in Africa and how bad it is. We went over the elephant though. The elephants are being poached and sold to China illegally for their ivory tusks which are very important in ancient Chinese culture. Now right now, I’m going to get into the next question straight away. If we keep taking these animals for the resources they’re giving us now, we wont have them in the future. We wont have the majestic beauty of these animals to look upon. The long term effects of poaching could lead to something terrible, all because some people couldn’t help themselves and killed off an entire population. Everyone should be discouraging poaching and i think a way to do that is to talk to them about everything I’ve said above. We also need to enforce harder rules on poaching and killing these animals. People are going to such extreme lengths that the park rangers at some reserves are being killed over protecting these animals. The man who joined the anti-poaching is definitely a hero. I don’t care what anyone says but this man is fighting for something that really matters to him and to the world. If it matters to the world, its something you should fight for. But if its something that matters to you, you have to give it your all and put your effort in. This man is a definite hero.

    • March 12, 2015 7:33 am

      What about people that poach wild animals, because they have no other way to feed their family? How do you feel about them?

  19. Haley Watson permalink
    March 13, 2015 7:08 pm

    I agree a lot with what the guy said in the third video. I think the only way to really stop poaching of the rhino’s horns is to change the beliefs or thoughts that make people feel the need to get their hands on rhino horns. If there is no demand for rhino horns than nobody will want to poach them because they woudnt make any money off of them. I feel like eliminating the very source of the desire for rhino horns will be 10x more effective than just stopping the poachers bc they know their going to get caught. I also feel as if catching poachers AFTER they’ve already killed a rhino isn’t that effective. It is a step in the right direction, but I feel like if the rhino’s already dead, we’ve kind of failed. I think they should check everyone that goes into the park beforehand, so that you can stop anyone with the intent to poach before they do it. And for the people sneaking into the park, better barriers should be put up in order for people to not be able to enter the park without consent from the park rangers. To me, I don’t think just doing one specific thing will change much. A lot of measures will have to be taken in order for things to get better for the rhinos.

  20. Ronnie Stovall permalink
    March 17, 2015 7:24 pm

    Well I think the poachers don’t care about the long time effects of poaching animal like the thought of the species becoming extinct. That’s probably the reason they kill animals and to sell for what every the animal is worth for money. I think if one species is dead, gone, no more than there is a reactive chain like the predator of a rhino has no more rhinos to eat than they die or rhino’s prey the population goes up and maybe harmful the another species. So I think it is a good thing that there is a law against poaching and like the video if you have a rhino horn a federal offense and jail time. I’m glad there is some one helping these animals since they aren’t very violent creatures. And hopefully save the species

    • March 18, 2015 7:10 am

      You’re right, Ronnie. No amount of education is going to make those poachers care – they found a way to make money and feed their families, and they’re probably more motivated to kill as many rhinos as they can before someone else does. So, how do we solve the problem?

      • Ronnie Stovall permalink
        March 22, 2015 8:45 am

        Well we should have rhino sanctuaries to help protect them and officers protecting the place so poachers cant sneak in to hurt the rhinos. Or like scientist tag the animal to count how many there are. We could do that to the rhinos which are still walking around and with have died. The last I could think of is show the people if the African rhino was gone then what would happen to the whole ecosystem so poachers could at least second guess themselves

        • March 23, 2015 7:16 am

          How do we pay for all these rhino sanctuaries? Also, where do you take the land from and how do you protect all that land?

  21. Ronnie Stovall permalink
    April 5, 2015 4:39 pm

    We could throw A BIG Fundraiser for people that care about the rhinos. And since there are not many left in the population the government can send money to pay for part of land for people that care to take care of the rhinos. Fundraisers, government help, and people support are the only ways I can think of.

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