Slaughter of the animals at the hands of poachers in the African, New Guinea, and the Asian jungles has reached an unprecedented height. In east Africa alone the kill is up to 70,000 elephants per year and, eighty thousand rhinoceros within 6 years. The Cheetah’s population has been completely annihilated from India. Ten thousand zebras have been slaughtered in Africa within the last 2 years, and the tiger population is on the critical extinction list.
The cause of the cruel onslaught
It is the handsome reward that the poachers receive on the poachers’ market. Many are eager to make the enormous economic gain from the sale of the skin and the tusks of the animals, so they continue the wonton killing.
The sale of the skin of one leopard could earn a poacher as much as $10,000.00
The skin is priceless, because its attractive markings make it ideal material for the so-called beautiful designed coats humans want to wear.
Merchants on the poachers’ market are willing to pay the price that the poachers demand for their kill, and consumers are equally willing to purchase these commodities at any cost.
The very distinctive features of the cheetah makes it a treasured prize. On the poachers market, one cheetah could earn a poacher $8,000.00, so the slaughter continued throughout the years until it has reached the extinction mark today.
The yellow background sprinkled with black polka dots makes the cheetah fur very much like that of the leopard: that is, they make the so- called attractive designer coats.
The tigers’ lives are also claimed so that fashion can prevail.
Even this largest member of the feline family is no match for the pistols, poison, and traps of its smartest predator. So the hunting and savagely killing of the tiger have left us with a total of only about 5,000 around the world today.
Man’s crave for novelty intertwined with his taste for exotic fashion have put them on the critical extinction list as well.
On the ivory market, a poacher could easily make $8,000.00 from the sale of the tusks of one elephant. Some poachers are even willing to risk their own lives, fighting with other poachers or rangers, to bring in this profitable kill. As the elephant population dwindles, they move unto a different type of animal and different type of territory.
They have gone all the way into the Arctic ice to seek out the walrus. The walrus are being used to fill the gap that the dying elephants have left. So the teeth of the walrus which are made of ivory are now in high demand.
Ivory products are highly desired. They are used to define the wealth, prestige, and status of the big ivory seekers. So 5,000 walruses are exterminated each year for the sake of something as frivolous as the showy display of one’s means of life.
The rhino’s horn is in great demand for its “quote unquote” medicinal value. Superstition has it that this is an excellent aphrodisiac. So this huge animal is taken down to get its little horn to make a sexual potion. Yet, there is no evidence (research, studies) to support the claim that it is an aphrodisiac. They may find a better cure for their impotence problem by eating more nutritious food. This is far less expensive than the price paid for the powdered rhino’s horn that has no guarantee to deliver the sexual prowess that they are looking for.
But when will it end?
Only when the consumers refuse to purchase these goods made from the animals’ skin, tusks etc. With no market for these products, poachers will have no economic gain. Refrain from purchasing poachers goods is not difficult, because no-one’s life is dependent on these goods. They are used mainly as a symbol of one’s status quo, wealth, and prestige, and there are no intrinsic benefits to be derived from them.
While exotic fashion may be a matter of personal taste and freedom of expression, or freedom of choice; shouldn’t this freedom be exercised with a sense of responsibility and respect for life? Isn’t that how the giver of life expect us to view It – With respect? But as long as the sellers and the buyers continue to show this lack of respect for life, and onlookers have a nonchalant attitude towards this practice the extermination will continue to become the greatest onslaught of all times.
Monica Sappleton has over 30yrs of music teaching experience and holds three degrees in music: M Mus Piano pedagogy, B. Mus Ed. Band teacher A A violin. She is currently the director and program specialist at the Piano Adventure School of Music.