Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Poaching in Africa

I have a small website for x-pats and zimbos. One of the members who passed on from cancer not long ago put up a series of articles on animals and nature and l thought l would put some of them up here.
The author, Tony Seward, stated in a conversation we had some time ago he did not mind my using the articles to get the stories out to people or they would be lost.

Tony served in the BSAP (British South Africa Police) in what was Rhodesia.


The snaring of Giraffe - Nuanetsi 1970
by Anthony Seward (C)

One of the most serious cases of snaring dealt with by me was whilst stationed at Nuanetsi.
Following a reported snaring of a Giraffe along the North bank of the Nuanetsi River some distance from the station I led an investigation team to the scene.
It was a pathetic and sad sight when we found a fully-grown male Giraffe hanging in a snare from a tall Mopani tree.

Scouts were sent off in various directions and within a couple of hours had found a further seven Giraffe which had met a similar fate at the hands of this ruthless poacher.
Determined to catch the criminal we re-enforced our team and ambushed two of the carcasses.
The following morning my constables arrested two accused who had approached the carcass of one of the Giraffe with a bevy of females carrying several sacks. They also carried a variety of knives and it was obvious that they were the accused and were about to cut the carcass up and carry away the meat.

We arrested the whole group and the accused were charged with eight counts of poaching with snares and received heavy prison sentences from Magistrate Rod Woodrow who had come up from Beit Bridge to take these and other cases.

It was the worst case of snaring I had encountered during my twenty five years service in he police.
We estimated that given the size of the Giraffe it would have been impossible for the group to have cut up more than one of the poor animals. The rest would have been left to rot where they hung.

Such is the poaching in Africa and I wonder what the situation is now a days with starvation facing the populations surrounding the ranches, farms and game areas of the country.


dickiebo said...

Gosh! This was in my world. Some people are simply b------s!

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Just a sick waste.We had a talk yesterday from a vet nurse who has just toured South Africa with a team of vet nurses holding "clinics" along the way. She was in tears when telling us about it... and I was surprised to hear about the "beliefs" there - mainly the raping of the children and grandmothers... I guess if they have so little regard for humans, what hope is there for the wildlife?

Vetnurse said...

Dickiebo how do you mean my world. I didn't know you were in Africa or do you mean the police which l know you were in?

Fi is that the one that with young virgins and certain animals you will either not get aids or it will cure you if you have it?
Not sure on the grandmother one/s but probably similar.
And no in case anyone thinks l am being sarcastic l am not.

The best hope for wild life is more where villages that have wildlife around them are encouraged to participate in commercial hunting. Shooting permits are sold for huge sums and then the villages provide workers for hunting safaris like tracking and porters, safari cooks.

The money made from the hunting permits and the safari work is then split between the tribe and the care of the animals.
The meat from the kills usually again is split with the village and some is sold again to support the wildlife.

This provides protection for the wildlife as they now have a value and the poaching stops and outside poachers are kept out as they are endangering the livelihood.

It is controversial as people do not like hunting. To my mind if it is controlled and there is a purpose and clean kills then it is better than poaching where there are no winners.

JuliaM said...

"It is controversial as people do not like hunting. "

It's controversial as SOME people don't like hunting. The ones that do, pay for their hobby and have a vested interest in seeing it continue.

But it works, and it works much, much better than anything else.