Ladies and gentlemen, I still have a vivid memory of my visit to Africa on a safari to see wildlife. The safari was a vocational journey that turned out to be very educative. We visited Serengeti in Tanzania to witness the great migration of the wild beasts before moving to Tsavo National Park in Kenya to see the man-eater lions (Udeze 23). The experience we had at Serengeti was unforgettable. It was thrilling but at the same time saddening seeing the prey and predator fight for life. The prey had to escape from the predators to stay alive. On the other hand, the predators had to capture prey in order to survive (Clifford 31). I witnessed the law of the jungle where the powerful have their way while the weak are left to suffer. The visit to Tsavo National Park was a new experience to me and most of the people who traveled with us (Rademeyer 78). For the first time in my life, I came face to face with lion, cheetah, Elephants, Rhino, and Buffalo at very close range. At times some of us would get scared, especially when these wild animals got agitated. However, we remained in the cars, and this assured us of safety. Ladies and gentlemen our beautiful journey was rudely affected by an encounter with poachers who were hunting elephants for their tusks.
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I have heard about the fight against elephant poaching in Africa, but never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined that I would come face to face with them while in their action. First, we heard the loud sound of gunfire. We thought that we were the target of the thugs given that they knew we were visitors. After a short while, we witnessed a series of gunshots that targeted three elephants. It was at this moment that we realized that we were not the target of these criminals. The tour guide instructed our driver to drive the van into a nearby thicket because it was apparent that these criminals had not detected our presence (Vira, and Ewing 134). The tour guide warned us that the criminals were at times hostile towards visitors (Orenstein 25). Although in most of the cases they do not kill, it is true that other risks such as robbery and even rape were a possible eventuality when taken hostage by these poachers.
It was so painful watching these huge beasts go down in great pain. The efficiency of these poachers was amazing. As soon as the elephants went down, they started hacking out the tusks, a task that took under ten minutes. They quickly cut these tasks into small pieces, placed them in their bags, and soon drove off. I felt hurt that some people are destroying the ecosystem just to get personal gains at the expense of the future generation. I came to realize that indeed the future generation may not have the privilege of watching these wild animals if the trend continues. We went to the site of crime and the brutality of these criminals was evident. The three large elephants lay side by side, lifeless. I was convinced that it is the responsibility of the global society to help in the fight against poaching. The tasks are worth nothing in Africa because there is no market (Gibson 90). Ladies and gentlemen, we need to fight against the trade in ivory.
Clifford, Mary. Environmental Crime: Enforcement, Policy, and Social Responsibility. Gaithersburg: Aspen Publ, 2008. Print.
Gibson, Clark. Politicians and Poachers: The Political Economy of Wildlife Policy in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.
Orenstein, Ronald. Ivory, Horn, and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis. London: McMillan, 2013. Print.
Rademeyer, Julian. Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade. New York: Springer, 2012. Print.
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Udeze, Bona. Why Africa? A Continent in a Dilemma of Unanswered Questions. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2009. Print.
Vira, Varun, and Thomas Ewing. Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa. Washiongton: Born Free USA, 2014. Print.