Rhinos have been decreasing in population due to poachers. But there has been a recent population increase, thanks to a crackdown on poaching by the Tanzanian Government.
According to the Sky News, the Tanzanian Government started working in 2016 to catch poachers. They did this by going after the criminal networks that were participating in industrial-scale poaching.
Sky News released a statement that said,
“As a result of the work of a special task force launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching, elephant populations have increased from 43,330 in 2014 to over 60,000 presently.”
The facts are that poachers kill elephants for their ivory. Ivory gets a very high dollar on the black market, especially in China. Even though Ivory is banned for international trade, it is still sold on the black market.
A Major Arrest Has Been Made
The crackdown led to the arrest of Yang Fenglan. This is one of the Tanzanian Government’s biggest success stories. Fenglan allegedly smuggled an estimated 400 Elephant tusks. Though this is great news for the elephant population, there still needs to be a bigger crackdown on the criminals responsible for rhino deaths.
Rhino horn is an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. The horn is a symbol of wealth. The good news is that the Tanzanian government is saying that the rhino population has increased. They said it increased from 15 in 2015 to 167 present day. However, some estimate that the population is less than that.
Mark Jones, the leader of the Born Free Foundation has said, “This sounds like very good news but we should view these figures with caution until there’s independent verification – there’s no way that has occurred through breeding and protection alone…elephants are intelligent — they move across national borders to where they are safer, so if there’s been a clampdown on poaching in Tanzania, it may be that some have moved in.”
Let’s hope that we see the elephant and rhino population continue to increase. The world will lose some amazing animals if we lose elephants and rhinos.