Poaching in Africa: Selous Game Reserve warning highlights scale of epidemic – Telegraph.co.uk

Most conservationists agree that tourism has a crucial role to play if
the battle is to be won (Photo: Getty)

Today poaching has reached epidemic proportions wherever elephants are found
and the poachers themselves are more highly organised, as was demonstrated
earlier this year when 68 elephants were slaughtered in Garamba National
Park in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The poachers used a helicopter for
their attack and hurled grenades at the park’s rangers during a 45-minute
fire-fight. “The situation is extremely serious,” says Garamba’s manager,
Jean-Marc Froment. “The park is under attack on all fronts.”

“It is my belief that we are in the midst of a battle for Africa,” warns
Dereck Joubert, the distinguished Botswana-based photographer and wildlife
campaigner. “At the moment we are losing a rhino roughly every seven hours
and five elephants every hour. If poaching continues at this rate, the
hardest hit – the rhinos – will be wiped out in five years.”

Most conservationists agree that income from tourism has a crucial role to
play if the battle is to be won. “The bottom line is this: if we abandon
tourism, we abandon conservation,” says Kenyan wildlife expert Jonathan
Scott. “When people ask me, ‘How can we help?’ we say: ‘By taking a safari.’
Wildlife-based tourism is not a choice but a necessity. It pays the bills
that keep the game parks and their wildlife secure. Without the tourist
dollars you might as well hand over all the remaining wildlife to the
poachers.”

Travel
Guides app

Download
the free Telegraph Travel app
, featuring expert guides to destinations
including Paris, Rome, New York, Venice and Amsterdam

Follow
Telegraph Travel on Twitter

Follow
Telegraph Travel on Facebook

Follow
Telegraph Travel on Pinterest

Follow Telegraph
Travel on FourSquare

Poaching in Africa: Selous Game Reserve warning highlights scale of epidemic – Telegraph.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *