Startling news made public by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) states that, when it comes to making sure rhinos do not switch from being an endangered species to being an extinct one, human society only has about ten years left to act.
The WWF explains that poaching is first and foremost fueled by financial incentives.
This basically means that the people living in developing countries find it much easier to support their families and make ends meet by hunting these animals and selling their horns on the illegal market rather than try and find other jobs.
“Villagers are at the bottom of the chain and can earn several months income through two or three days of poaching. Huge amounts of money is in circulation,” argues one wildlife veterinarian named Joseph Okori.
Therefore, both local governments and the people visiting these regions must do their best in putting an end to poaching.
They can do so by encouraging socio-economic development and by not buying souvenirs made from animal parts, respectively.
“Both governments and tourists need to take more responsibility. People should absolutely not buy souvenirs from endangered species or carved ivory souvenirs while on holiday,” explains Hakan Wirtén, presently employed as secretary general of WWF Sweden.
The WWF makes a case of how most of the poaching activities carried out in Africa are intended to meet the demands of customers from Asia.
Moreover, some illegal traders went as far as to steal rhino horns from several European museums and antique shops, simply because the sharp drop in the overall headcount for this species makes it ever more difficult for them to please their customers.
Commenting on this situation, the WWF's African Rhino Programme leader, Dr. Joseph Okori, stated that, “The rhino faces extinction within ten years if we do not reverse this trend.”
Needless to say, elephants face the very same risks that rhinos do, and also find themselves in dire need of protection.