Sunday, November 10, 2013

British Troops Enlisted to Protect Kenya's Elephants from Al Shabaab

A mother elephant and calf

It has been recently reported that elite British troops are being recruited to help Kenya's frontline forces battling the Al-Shabaab militant group, which has been ruthlessly massacring elephants and rhinos to finance their wars in Africa. These troops, which are from the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, will assist Kenya's wildlife rangers in trying to halt the illegal ivory trade. Al-Shabaab, which is linked to the Al-Qaeda, is known to finance its terrorist activities by selling elephant ivory and rhino horns in the black market. The illegal merchandise is believed to earn the Somalia-based terrorist group 400,000 British pounds. The profits allow them to pay jihadist fighters 75 pounds per week to conduct bloodshed such as the horrific attack in Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall. In the coming weeks, 25 British troops will provide Kenya's rangers much-needed expert training since at least sixty had been killed in the line of duty.
Prince Charles and Prince William

This article gives an excellent example of a nation helping another nation by providing help from its military to a team of individuals who sacrifice their lives in protecting endangered species that have been drastically suffering from rampant poaching. Britain has even recently launched a campaign titled "If They're Gone", which aims to tackle poaching and highlight global impacts of wildlife crime and habitat destruction. Prince Charles and Prince William disclosed the growing threats to some of the planet's most iconic animals when they hosted a summit at Clarence House earlier this year. During the summit, governmental representatives were told that the illegal wildlife trade was now worth 12 billion pounds per year. On the platform was British Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who visited Kenya last week to authorize British military support to Africa in its battle to protect its wildlife. Reports indicate that poaching of rhinos has gone up by 3,000 percent in recent years with one animal being killed every eleven hours. The price of ivory has seen poaching gangs apply desperate strategies such as poisoning waterholes to kill elephants. It is estimated that as many as 38,000 will die this year. I strongly believe that this news should be seen as an inspiration for governments in other developed countries to draft their military in parts of Africa that has seen a surge in poaching activities in recent years. Britain has set an ideal example of helping a country in a continent which is in a dire need of help concerning its conservation efforts. Similarly, other non-African countries should pitch in to provide Africa with much-needed help to save its wildlife which is plays a critical and crucial role in the continent's tourism industry.

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