Benjamin L. VanDyke
Tim G. Buchanan
Poaching is the hunting or killing of animals that are not either in season to be hunted or are protected by animal rights laws. There are many hunting laws and seasons that one has to comply with in their own country. Many countries have outlawed the hunting of animals that are close to extinction. Other countries; such as the United States use hunting to control the numbers of animals whose numbers are more than plentiful. There are many reasons for poaching, mostly financially motivated. The costs or effects of Poaching can be deadly not only to the animals themselves but also to human beings. There are measures being taken to stop and regulate the act of poaching. There are many reasons why animals are poached, food, the Ivory of their tusks, Witchcraft and, Medicinal purposes, and just for their skins or furs. Some animals such as the Gorilla and other primates in Africa are being hunted for their meat, so that families and tribes can eat. These same animals along with the wild cats, such as Lions and Leopards, Elephants, hyena, and buffalo are considered to be sources of what is called bush meat. These animals are killed, skinned and striped of their meat to be smoked and shipped to restaurants in Africa, Asia and Europe. The Asian and African Elephants are hunted for the ivory of their tusks. More than 2,500 tusks and 14,600 pieces of ivory were seized worldwide between January 1, 2000 and May 21, 2002. That might not seem like a lot but that equals out to over 2,000 dead elephants, in less than a year and a half.
In some African tribes animals are thought of as having magical and medicinal value. Many tribes in the Congo believe that the leopard is a highly magical creature and is killed so that the witch doctors can wear the skins to show just how magically powerful they are. Other animals are used as sacrifices to cleanse away bad omens or curses. If it...