June 13, 2013
Poaching is a very serious epidemic that affects all countries around the world. Animal poaching is the act of illegally capturing and killing animals and using them for trade. They are used for food, for clothes, wool, cosmetics, ornaments, fat, and decorations and even for sport. It is different in every country and affects many species of animals to the point of extinction. Poaching is a crime against endangered species and other wildlife and should be stopped.
Poaching is not the same as the regulated hunting sport. Hunters have licenses to practice hunting as a sport and they practice and follow the laws inflicted on them including following the hunting season and only hunting designated animals on regulated hunting grounds. A poacher does not contain a hunting license. They kill animals all year long regardless of what animals are in the corresponded hunting season. Even if they are in season, they may also often use illegal weapons, such as spears or inhumane traps, to kill them. In some places, it is illegal to hunt animals in the nighttime. Poachers may also hunt animals on private properties, wildlife sanctuaries, or any other areas that don’t allow hunting. A poacher’s main objective is to gain large profit by selling or illegally trading. (Wildlife Museum) Hunters use different methods to capture animals. Some use objects called snares. A snare is a set of wires configured to capture any animal that gets into it. They are most often tied to trees and the animal is trapped from their leg or neck. These are unreliable for hunters because they don’t always capture the desired species or gender. The use of dogs is very common when it comes to poaching. Dogs chase the animal into large nets, known as trap nets. They can also be chased into pitfall traps. A pitfall trap is a large hole in the ground that is hidden with leaves and plants that an animal falls in when it tries to walk over it. One of the most common methods poachers use to capture animals is using military grade weapons and tranquilizer guns. The animals are shot to be stunned and are sometimes already unconscious when they are killed or have parts of their bodies removed. (Wildlife Museum). Animal poaching varies by country. In Norway and Canada, hunters slaughter harmless seal pups as a sport. It is known as "seal clubbing". It was even previously an Olympic sport. They are mainly killed for fun but they are often turned into coats, hats, or rugs. Fishermen claim that it is to stop the seals from taking fish. (Jowitt and Soldal). Elephant poaching is very common in some African countries, such as Kenya. Elephants are killed for their rare meat, hide and the ivory in their tusks (EleAide). Rhinos are commonly killed in Asia. They are killed for the ivory in their horns. Rhino horns are estimated to average about $18,000 a pound in value. Ivory is a substance used in pills, tablets, herbal treatments, and tonics in countries all over Asia. Over 388 rhinos were killed in 2012. So far this year, 278 were killed. There are only five species of rhinos left in the world due to poachers. (World Wildlife Fund). In Tanzania, shellfish are captured alive and are killed for their shells. The hollow shells are illegally sold to vendors and are then sold to tourists as souvenirs. The Japanese government consents to dolphin, whale, and shark hunting. Even though their meat is filled with toxins, dolphins and whales are sold in markets for human consumption. Sharks are often captured to have their fins amputated then are thrown back into the ocean to die. The fins are then sold to restaurants for shark fin soup. (Blue Voice). These helpless animals are left to drown or bleed or to death. Poaching is one of the main causes for species becoming endangered and extinct. The polar bear population has gone down two-thirds due to poachers hunting them for their pelts. Only 20,000-25,000 are estimated to remain....
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