Trafficked by highly organised gangs of criminals who see brutality and bloodshed as a simple means to an end, elephant and rhino tusk can fetch $5,000 per kilogram on the illicit world market.
This month, Network for Animals has donated 200,000 Rand (£11,000) to the Kruger Rangers Service on behalf of kind people like yourself. You may have heard of Kruger. It is an area of extreme natural beauty in South Africa, inhabited by over 800 different species, and protected by the Kruger National Park Rangers and their team of 30 highly trained patrol, tracking and firearm detection dogs. Their sworn enemy? The rhinoceros and elephant poacher.
Poaching is truly brutal. One recent method involves planting oranges tainted with poison. A large animal simply wouldn't be able to resist the bait, and as their body painfully fails over the ensuing days, the poacher will track the vultures who will be first to try and claim the body.
The brave rangers can be away from home for weeks at a time, tracking, confronting and arresting poachers on the deadly frontline of this war. They subsist on basic rations, while pitting their lives against the bullets of murderers who harbour no conscience. Their work wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the assistance of their highly trained dogs, who are excellently cared for, and work loyally by the rangers side.
Last year in Kruger, teams of poachers brutally murdered more than 600 rhino and today, rumours are circulating that elephant poaching is about to hit the area like an avalanche. Our protection must increase, and we must do everything possible to protect Rhinos and Elephants from a torturous end.