Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Iowa Zoo Joins Alliance Demanding an End to Poaching

African elephant

It has been recently reported that the Blank Park Zoo of Iowa has joined forces with forty other zoos and wildlife programs in 36 countries to demand a more assertive battle against worldwide poaching. The shared statement, which was announced Friday, culminated from the international Zoos and Aquariums: Committing to Conservation conference at a facility in south Des Moines earlier this month. The representatives of the conference prompted all governments and international groups to initiate continuous campaigns to halt the illegal poaching of wildlife. This includes increased law enforcement with efficient and deliberate penalties for wildlife crimes, more collaboration between governments to battle cross-border activity, and programs to increase awareness among consumers about the illegal wildlife trade. The delegates also noted that big cats, birds, great apes, sharks and rays, turtles and other reptiles are among the animals suffering in the hands of poachers who sell them, adding that it is a coordinated multi-billion dollar business.

I'm very proud and happy to see that the Blank Park Zoo has joined forces with other zoos and similar wildlife organizations around the world in a battle against the ongoing poaching and illegal wildlife trade that has decimated and continues to decimate the wildlife. This zoo had earlier raised funds for conservation initiatives such as the Great Ape Trust and the International Snow Leopard Trust, each of which is aimed to protect and conserve a particular species of animals. This time, however, the zoo has taken a much bigger step to become part of a crusade aimed at urging governments for a halt in poaching of wild animals around the world. Recently, the U.S government announced that it would spend $10 million on conservation efforts to protect Africa's elephants and rhinos. I very much hope that governments in countries around the world, especially those which have been suffering from poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, will respond and act upon this message the coalition is sending out.

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