|Satao, who was known to hide from humans for many years, was recently killed by poachers for his ivory tusks.|
|Park rangers stand near three of the nearly seventy elephants slaughtered in Garamba National Park.|
The poaching epidemic affecting Africa's elephant and rhino populations has reached astronomical levels. That is, despite the concerted efforts to halt any such activities, the war is still raging and the bloodbath is still increasing. Satao, who was often referred to as "an icon", was one of the recent victims of this epidemic along with the nearly seventy elephants ruthlessly massacred in Garamba National Park. People from all around the world, including the countries where the demand for ivory, rhino horns, and other wildlife is rife, need to refrain from importing and purchasing such merchandise in order to help conservationists and authorities put a stop to this ongoing wildlife trade. Furthermore, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade is linked to terrorism. In other words, these two environmental threats help finance terrorist groups such as the Al-Shabaab, Janjaweed, and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to carry out their bloodthirsty work of massacring countless numbers of innocent civilians. In addition to people, poaching and the wildlife trade have and continue to affect the local economies of African countries especially when poachers continuously slaughter animals in various national parks that are known to benefit from tourism. As long as the poaching epidemic continues to affect national parks and other protected areas in Africa, it would impact the tourism industry which in turn would affect the local economies of various African countries. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to step up the coordinated efforts to combat this ongoing epidemic and stay one step ahead of the poachers and other operators of the wildlife trade.
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