Kenya rhino and elephant poaching dropped in 2020 and in fact, the numbers fell dramatically. Meanwhile, in South Africa, poaching still continues. A lot of the poaching in places like KwaZulu Natal is attributed to a lack of equipment. And the greedy killing of endangered species. So, what is Kenya doing differently? Meanwhile, Kruger Park is beset by falling numbers of Rhino. A steady decline of Rhino over the past 10 years is attributed to poaching that removes the breeding females. Much of the poaching is attributed to poverty. But elephants and rhino die because of their commercial value rather than from hunger.
Kenya rhino, elephant poaching drop – efficient policing
According to The Good News Network, Kenya saw a record-breaking drop in Rhino poaching in 2020. In fact, zero deaths came in for the first time since 1999. The outlet noted that statistics reveal elephant poaching dropped 97% with only 11 poaching deaths. “Retired-Brigadier General John Waweru” of the Kenya Wildlife Services attributes the fall in poaching to better policing, a drop in local poverty, and the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
While South Africa claimed a fall of rhino poaching deaths of 60%, which is good news, it nevertheless continues. Since 2010, the rhino population in Kruger Park dropped below 4,000. Previously, SAN Parks said the wildlife area once contained over 10,000 rhino. National Geographic reported in February 2021, that the park’s “in trouble.” Grant Fowlds, a conservation ambassador for Project Rhino notes that it’s been a steady decline and it’s alarming. After all, the park homes 30% of Africa’s wild rhino population. But Kenya seems on top of corruption and inefficient policing of both elephants and rhinos.
Deaths in Kruger Park attributed to corruption and drought
While the number of elephants and rhinos declined each year since 2014, the problem remains. Cathy Dean, the CEO of Save the Rhino International notes that poachers now infiltrated the ranks of the rangers. And, corruption becomes an increasing problem. With over 300 deaths between 2019 and 2020 in Kruger, it seemingly offsets the lowered numbers. As Grant Fowles notes, while it sounds good that poaching numbers dropped, in fact, “there are less rhinos to kill…so it’s harder for poachers to find them.”
Elephants continue to die as well, even though the numbers drop. Perhaps corruption lies behind those figures as well. This week, Highway Mail reported that men arrested at King Shaka airport carried tusks valued at R200,000. Weighing in at 8.1kg, the arrest was effected by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Unit. Those arrested attempted to travel to Pretoria and locate a buyer. Follow-up operations resulted in three potential buyers arrested in Durban North. Not putting down the efforts by the Hawks, but by then, the elephants were already dead.
Kenya gets around that problem by addressing better policing before the rhinos and elephants die. It’s well known that in Africa corruption results in inefficient policing. It certainly looks like the rampant corruption in South Africa contributes greatly to the poaching of rhino and elephants.
Remember to like us on Facebook and subscribe in the box at the bottom right of this article.