Calling All Wildlife. Please Come In. Ten-Four.

My wife and I have been planning on taking a trip to Africa, Kenya and Tanzania in particular, to witness first-hand the Great Migration and to see the Big Five close up, that is, relatively close up. My concern is to get there before they’re all gone.

If you wanted, you could read every day about the overwhelming reduction in elephants, rhinos, zebras, mountain gorillas and other beautiful creatures due mainly to poaching for ivory, horns, pelts and .  The black rhino alone is down 96.7% since 1960; 35,000 elephants were killed last year. Poachers ride into reserves on horses or attack in helicopters carrying AK-whatevers and night-vision goggles and slaughter complete herds.  Despite bans on the sale of both ivory and horns in many countries, we are still losing ground.  The economic rise of one huge nation in particular, one that seems to be oblivious to animal endangerment, is resulting in the deaths of thousands of animals.  Efforts to implant cameras in horns and sensors on tusks in order for governments to more quickly react to poachers are just experiments.  Bloodhounds might be able to track poachers after the fact, but too late to save the animals.

So what does the world do while the irreplaceable animals of Africa are being wiped out?  Apparently the same thing we do about the impact of climate change–little.  It appears that other countries feel it isn’t their duty to help contribute to the effort to fight poachers alongside the African nations.  Why would they? Most countries do little to prohibit the genocide of millions of people who are being slaughtered on the lands of their neighboring nations.  So why would they give a hoot about dying animals in distant lands?  And don’t get me started on reefs and creatures of the sea.

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