Personally, conservation of wildlife is very close to heart. It breaks me to read about rhino and elephant poaching. This is while the Ministry of Environment and Tourism put out an reward of N$60 000 for any information of poaching activities.
In just one month seven rhinos were killed, this is a big number, considering the fact that rhinos are near extinction. Namibia is hailed for being one of the top countries with wildlife conservation policies in place, that is a status we, as Namibians, have to uphold and this we can do by protecting what is ours: our wildlife!
The first step in doing this is by snitching on poachers! Come on people, there is N$60 000 at stake! This might not be a lot of money, but what is better than knowing you have done something heroic? Poachers are greedy, emotionless bastards and we need to put an end to their sick game.
Also, I am a firm supporter of rhino horn trading. There has been conflicting debates around this issue, but personally, I believe that trading with the rhino horn will be the most accessible solution, and I back the Minister of Environment and Tourism in this regard.
To trade or not to trade is by far the hottest issue as a lot of money stands to be made by the rhino owners. This knowing that rhino horns are worth thousands of dollars, is a piece of cake for rhino ranchers. What is not taken into consideration is the ethics of this trade.
It would play directly into a myth about the medicinal properties of the horn. Some argue that it would not stop the poaching as the existing rhino ranchers could not keep up with the demand. Like with de-horning, the issue still remains, making the rhino hypersensitive to the poacher’s gun.
Going back to the issue, we are striving to be a better, developed nation, which can happen, if we preserve our flora and fauna. Our pride. It does not help to be conniving with the thieves that want to steal what is ours. In some way, doing that is treason. Treason is a criminal offence.
Speaking of conniving, it really bewilders my fresh mind, how, a Chinese man, was found with 18 rhino horns worth R6,6 million which are suspected to have been smuggled from Namibia. This man, passed through the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek where he avoided detection and was only arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa. Nonetheless, I will just let that sink in.
This is really embarrassing for the security at the Airport. We cannot be country who strives for conservation of our natural resources and make such huge slip-ups.
The Ministry responsible environment has made great strides to work towards ending this gruesome killing of this endangered species. This includes, better equipped and increased number of anti-poaching rangers, involvement of the Law enforcement and the use of high tech and innovative systems and equipment, amongst others.
We need to come together as a nation and stand together in order to protect the rhino and elephant of our beautiful country and curb the mindless poaching of these animals.