Africa is losing the battle to save its wildlife. Iconic African animals like elephants and rhinos are under attack from highly organised criminal networks that are feeding an insatiable demand for ivory and rhino horn in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries.
How Network For Animals fight for Elephants and Rhinos
In 2013, Tanzania reportedly lost 10 000 elephants to poachers – the equivalent of 30 per day. Their tusks were carved into jewelry and trinkets in China where prices for ivory objects have skyrocketed. And in South Africa, rhino killings are driven by the false belief that crushed rhino horn can cure everything from fevers to hangovers.
The tragedy is that elephant and rhino poaching is driven by criminal networks with global reach. They are ruthlessly corrupting the guardians of Africa’s unique wildlife heritage to increase the stream of elephant ivory and rhino horn flowing out of African ports. In Tanzania, corruption takes place at every level – from game rangers who provide information on the location of elephant heards to port officials who look the other way as shipping containers filled with elephant tusks leave African shores. And in South Africa, wildlife traffickers have corrupted game ranchers and members of conservation agencies who now work to kill rather than protect endangered rhinos.
How Network For Animals is working to put an end to the cruelty
Network for Animals is doing whatever it can to help conservationists put an end to the ruthless and unnecessary slaughter of African animals.
In South Africa, Network for Animals is playing an important role in the war against rhinoceros and elephant poaching. Network for Animals has supplied funding for ranger patrols and has ‘adopted’ a canine unit of seven anti-poaching sniffer and tracker dogs working to combat poaching in the Kruger National Park. The dogs are in the front line, fighting poachers who infiltrate the park’s border from neighbouring Mozambique. Network pays all veterinary and food costs for the brave dogs.
Network for Animals has also cared for the victims of the poaching epidemic, supplying high protein feed to rear eight rhino babies whose mothers were slaughtered for their horns.
And, behind the scenes, Network for Animals is lobbying African governments, trying to convince them of the urgent need to tighten legislation and make wildlife poaching and trafficking a high priority crime. In March 2015, we presented a vital report to the South African commission investigating the legalisation of the sale of rhino horn. We were delighted to be successful in 2016 when the commission ruled against changing the law.
Beyond Africa, NFA are working to improve the life of Mali the elephant, who has occupied a small enclosure in Manila zoo since the age of three. We have repeatedly petitioned, lobbied and met with the elected Mayor of Manila, Joseph Estrada. We have worked in schools to generate awareness of Mali’s plight, and to create understanding of her situation as a captive animal rather than a spectacle for entertainment. We have worked ‘undercover’ in the Philippines as the organisation ‘Warriors For Mali’, to create a local voice for her freedom. We pay regular visits to Mali in order to stay abreast of her situation, and maintain good terms with the staff of the zoo, with a view to negotiation. In 2015 we paid for blood tests and will reveal the results when they are released.