Thursday, January 28, 2016

KENYA - The Wildlife Preserves' Army

"Why wildlife preserves in Kenya resemble war zones" PBS NewsHour 1/27/2016


SUMMARY:  With rhinoceros horn now more valuable than gold on the black market, poaching has reached unprecedented levels.  Some wildlife preserves in Africa resemble war zones, as rangers struggle to keep pace with poachers, who may have ties to terrorist groups.  Daphne Matziaraki and James Pace-Cornsilk, students at UC Berkeley, traveled to Kenya to learn more.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Rhino and elephant poaching has reached unprecedented levels, as the black market price of rhino horn and ivory tusk has skyrocketed.

University of California Berkeley students Daphne Matziaraki and James Pace-Cornsilk traveled to Kenya and found that the trafficking networks are often connected to international terrorist groups and, on the ground, the situation resembles war.

NARRATOR:  Ol Jogi Conservancy in Northern Kenya is home to 46 eastern black rhinos.  There are 500 left in the world.

JAMIE GAYMER, Manager, Ol Jogi Conservancy:  We had two rhinos, I believe, to have been shot with a firearm, and one of those rhinos had its horns cut off.

NARRATOR:  Jamie Gaymer manages this rhino sanctuary and protects the surrounding 58,000 acres of land from a major threat, poachers.

JAMIE GAYMER:  The enemy who are trying to come and poach our rhinos are becoming more advanced, investing in higher-tech equipment, automatic weapons.  Perhaps their own intelligence is quite well-established, and we have to evolve our security in order to combat that.

NARRATOR:  Black market buyers from Asia and the United States have driven the price of ivory to $1,000 per pound, and rhino horn used in traditional Chinese medicine and seen as a status symbol to $45,000 per pound, making it more expensive than gold.

JAMIE GAYMER:  I don’t know the definition of war, but certainly there is a very advanced enemy who are putting us under considerable threat.

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