Stop the Killing – Urgent Appeal
We have just launched an urgent fundraising appeal to help strengthen our anti-poaching operations on the ground in Kenya. Elephants and Rhinos are facing a severe threat from a new wave of poaching, fuelled by rising demand from China and across Asia. You can help make a difference – before it is too late.
To view the letter sent from Asgar Pathan, Care for the Wild International Director in Kenya, please click below:
Or, you can read a web version below.
Urgent Appeal – from Asgar Pathan in Kenya
From: Asgar Pathan, Director, Care for the Wild Kenya
Date: May 2012
Subject: Poaching Crisis: I need your help!
I have just returned from another series of dangerous and frustrating patrols with our Care for the Wild anti poaching teams in the Mara and Tsavo. Despite the best efforts of teams like ours, we’re continuing to see a dramatic increase in poaching activities in both Tsavo National Park and the Maasai Mara. The last few months have been the most dangerous we’ve seen since patrols commenced.
As you may know both our Mara and Tsavo teams conduct regular de-snaring sweeps and they’re often at risk from ambush by poachers. Each sweep locates and removes wire snares laid by poachers to capture animals for both bush meat and for their skins, bones, horns and tusks. The elephant below is one of the many victims of snaring we’ve saved. Our teams also assist rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Mara Conservancy to identify where poachers are hiding out, often leading to arrests. Plus, we’re also a visible deterrent in areas affected by illegal logging, charcoal burning and other types of habitat destruction, unfortunately all of which are increasing rapidly.
Poaching penalties act as little deterrent – sometimes just a £50 fine
Every day across Africa over 100 elephants are brutally killed
Two species are consistently targeted by poachers in Africa – the rhino and the elephant. Thousands of visitors from all over the world come here to Kenya to see these magnificent creatures in the wild, but now it seems that many others would rather see them wiped out forever – just to make a quick buck, or for status, business gifts or Traditional Chinese Medicine that’s been proven again and again not to work.
In Tsavo, we’ve already seen two rangers and a scout brutally killed by poachers this year, simply for trying to protect their own country’s wildlife for the world to enjoy.
Although all our teams (this is us in the photo, I’m the one third from the left) are accompanied by an armed KWS ranger for their protection, their primitive rifles are increasingly no match for the horrific capabilities of the modern weaponry now being used by poachers. However, despite these challenges, last year our teams removed over 1,200 snares, saving the lives of an estimated 22,000 animals, and already this year we’ve assisted with arresting almost twenty suspected poachers – many of which were armed. Also we’ve removed hundreds of snares to date and confiscated over forty different hunting weapons!
1kg of rhino horn is worth up to £45,000, more than cocaine
Since 1970, rhino populations have fallen by 90% – now there’s just 25,000 rhinos left in Africa
* Data from SSN, representing record killings only in South Africa where 90% of the world’s wild rhino population lives. Globally the number of killings will be far higher.
Our teams are making an impact but we urgently need to increase the number of our patrols to counter the dramatic rise in poaching incidents. We also need at least two extra armed rangers to accompany patrols and provide security to protect our vulnerable teams from these poachers, who will quite simply stop at nothing to make the kill. To protect these innocent animals, like this rhino, we have to step up our efforts now – and I need your help.
We’re trying our best to fight the wave of killings in Kenya, but this isn’t a fight we can win on our own. Our under-resourced anti-poaching teams are in a battle against poachers driven by a powerful growing international trade. The killing is increasing daily owing to massive demand from all across Asia, particularly from China and Vietnam.
I’m personally asking for your support so me and my teams can continue the fight. Please help us to stop the killing by donating what you can.
Director, Care for the Wild Kenya
PS – bad news, just heard another rhino killed in Tsavo today.
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Please click on the links below to read more about our project in Kenya and our Stop the Killing plans.