Communities in poaching plagued regions are poorer, with higher infant mortality rates, as the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) reported in 2014. Poorer countries often have more corrupt governments, which look the other way or even participate in the illegal ivory trade themselves.
The poverty plagued community is then infiltrated by violent criminal gangs who control the bulk of illegal ivory trade, bringing fear and making impoverished lives ever more difficult. The residents understandably often resent the elephants’ presence, seeing them as a dangerous problem.
One of the main ways to combat poaching is therefore to combat both poverty and corruption. Not easy tasks, to be sure. In future posts I’ll try to highlight some organizations working to do this.
(Photo taken in Elephant Nature Park)