The New African Living Standard
Tonight. December 15, 2019
African bush elephants (Loxodonta africana) female with six-week-old baby, Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe, CC BY SA 4.0 Charles Sharp Photography Created March 2018.
The African elephant is a majestic creature. Yet, poachers in Botswana recently made them the object of slaughter. How does poaching impact the quality of life for all Africa’s denizens_animal and humans alike?
Elephant hunting. It has been at the center of dark exotic fantasies and wildlife activists' nightmares for decades. Africa is still plagued by this old practice. In Botswana, the authorities recently seized the hunting licenses of Michael Lee Potter and Kevin Sharp. A government report states the two men willingly surrendered their licenses, citing BBC.
This situation wasn’t entirely cut and dry. Botswana had recently lifted a ban on hunting elephants for the reason that elephants had shown aggression toward humans. The ban was lifted in May as the conflict between humans and the animals had spiked.
Yet, last month, when Potter and Sharp killed their elephant, it was illegal on the grounds that the animal was collared. Meaning that it was wearing tagging which had it specifically marked as a research animal. This gave it a protected status.
Potter’s license has been removed indefinitely. Sharp’s license has been revoked for a period of 3 years, effective immediately upon the date of the revocation.
In addition, the two men have been ordered to replace the expensive collar the elephant was wearing.
The men argue that they could not see the elephant's collar because the animal was in the “full frontal position”.
Neil Fitt, personnel of the Kalahari Conservation Society took objection to this statement. As he tells it, elephant collars, are “extremely large”. It would have been incredibly difficult to kill this animal without knowing that the collar was in place. In which case, the men were trigger happy and the kill was perhaps a blurry boundary poaching_but poaching nonetheless.
Reuters reports that the men attempted to destroy the remnants of the collar to hide the evidence. This increases the implication of guilt the two men are under.
Botswana is a nation with 130,000 elephants. The Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi sat down with a committee to discuss allowing hunting again as negative encounters between humans and elephants had increased since the 2014 ban was enacted. The elephants that live in Botswana range in the Northern region. They roam cross-border into the nations of Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
As of today, there are 415, 000 elephants in Africa, citing numbers created by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The population has been decimated by poachers on the hunt for ivory.
As these poachers baptize themselves in the blood of elephants, swearing on the name of Greed, Africa realizes it has a more complex problem. The problem of the disrupted relationship between wildlife and human life on the Continent.
Poachers, awash in the blood of elephants, have left the world standing in awe at the viral greed that sweeps Africa, cancerous. Greed is a disease that has swallowed the Continent. The greed of foreign aggressors and internal frauds. It begets violence. Whether it is violence between the hunters and the non-game animals, or between humans, the violence is amplified by this greedy ambition. It is stripping the natural conservation beyond control. It is disrupting Africa’s ecosystem, a thing that will plunge the Continent deeper into struggle as it constantly reels and wrestles with agendas of ill intent.
Citing CTV News, two poachers have been killed in South Africa’s Kruger park this month. The South African rangers killed them. These poachers were on the hunt for rhinos. CTV News calls South Africa the epicenter of poaching incidents in recent years, as South Africa is home to roughly 80% of the world’s wild rhino population. In one decade, 7,100 rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers. In the last year alone, 769 rhinos were wasted by the poachers. The poaching of rhinos is also driven by greed, seared over in hate. Asia has a demand for rhino horn. It is used as an aphrodisiac in traditional medicine and goes for $60,000 per kilogram.
A third poacher escapes the shootout. That means the rhino killer who was willing to exchange gunfire with men is still out there, out among the savage and cruel others like himself. Out there for greed, to strip Africa of even the skin and bone of its natural life.
For more on the human toll of ivory extraction, see this news piece by National Geographic’s Tracking Ivory.
Africa’s illegal ivory trade is fueled by Asia_a fearful prospect when considering the great interest that Asia and Russia now take in the African block. Today, the Citizen reported that Pangolin_called scaly anteaters_have now become the target of smuggling operations. This comes on the heels of this year’s sentencing for the Ivory Queen_Chinese born Yang Feng Glan, who together with two Tanzanian males, was responsible for a $5.6 million elephant poaching ivory supply chain, citing Artnet News.
Yang Feng Glan’s poaching operation lasted between 2000 and 2004. This implies that it took nearly 15 years to sentence the Chinese businesswoman. Yang Feng Glan owned a Chinese restaurant in Dar-es-Salaam. She operated the criminal ring with the Tanzanian natives Salvius Matembo and Manase Philemon. The restaurant was said to be the front for the ivory operation. The restaurant also housed an investment company on its second floor. Glan was previously the head member of the Tanzania China-Africa Business Council.
Her arrest happened in 2015 after Tanzania’s National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit looked into the case for nearly a year.
Yang Feng Glan’s network killed thousands of elephants. She successfully bathed the nation of Tanzania in the blood of her own majesty_the elephant near the soul of the Sub-Saharan spirit as it is_and blended in with national elites. She is but one foreign interest group whose agenda caused great harm to wildlife, but not only to wildlife. The export and exploitation of Africa’s natural resources and this gatekeeper_this charlatan_there at the doorway of an international business council_is an object of grave repression to the economies and governmental authority of African nations.
The man who helped to catch the Ivory Queen in her crimes? Shot down in cold blood in 2017.
West Africa also famously arrested the “Kampala-man” or Moazu Kromah_the possibly Liberian national responsible for the Ivory cartel. The ivory cartel was an operation, hatched in circa 2012, that purveyed poached ivory as well as heroin in the West African region. Citing International Policy Digest, Kromah and Co. were busted in August 2019.