Kruger elephant rescued from poaching snare

Posted by Anita Froneman on 30 June 2020

An elephant in the Kruger National Park was rescued from a snare set up by poachers on Tuesday, June 30. The elephant sustained a wound to the leg, but was treated and should recover well.

‘A cable snare was removed from this elephant, and it was treated by KNP vets,’ the Park tweeted.

‘It is the type of snare (cable wire is used) set for bush-meat trade, or subsistence poaching. The elephants step into the snare,’ the Park added.

Elephants are widely sought-after for both their meat and tusks. The Environment Ministry reports that 31 elephants were killed in South Africa in 2019 and a whopping 71 in 2018.

Conservationists fear that the pandemic is worsening the demand for bush meat, leading poachers to kill more animals as the dire economic situation and food insecurity among vulnerable communities sets in.

‘Why do criminals commit acts of crime? They do it because they’re desperate and it’s a quick easy means for money,’ Ryan Tate, founder of VetPaw (a group of American military veterans who fight poachers in a remote private reserve in the far north of South Africa) told CNBC. ‘Poaching is no different. There’s a lot of desperate people out there because of the virus and [poaching] will absolutely pick up.’

Yet there is hope. Kruger National Park spends over R233 million annually on anti-poaching and has the most highly-trained and dedicated anti-poaching force in Africa. This includes dividing the park into 22 sections, each with its own section ranger and a team of field rangers, use of dog tracker packs, helicopter support, and the South African defense force to offer assistance, according to Mongabay.

Also read:

HERD: SA’s first elephant orphanage

Image credit: Twitter/SANParksI

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