National Geographic
Menu

Elephant Poachers Poison Hundreds of Vultures to Evade Authorities

Elephant felled by poachers.  Photo courtesy of Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park
Elephant felled by poachers. Photo courtesy of Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park

The ongoing slaughter of Africa’s elephants is at record levels.  The situation has gotten out of hand in many countries, especially those lacking the resources to fight the increase in demand for ivory from the Far East.

Poachers lace the discarded elephant carcass with cheap poisons to kill vultures in mass.  Why? Because vultures circling in the sky alert wildlife authorities to the location of poachers’ activities.

With wildlife authorities struggling to save the remaining tuskers, there has been little attention paid to the other casualties of elephant poaching.  In what is now becoming commonplace across the continent, poachers lace the discarded elephant carcass with cheap poisons to kill vultures in mass.  Why? Because vultures circling in the sky alert wildlife authorities to the location of poachers’ activities.  Vultures are highly specialized to locate carcasses quickly so as to avoid competition from larger mammalian predators.  Poachers would prefer their nefarious activities to remain undetected to escape arrest.  So to a poacher capable of gunning down a 7-ton beast, poisoning several hundred vultures along the way is all in a days’ work.

Suspected elephant poacher arrested.  Photo courtesy of Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park
Suspected elephant poacher arrested. Photo courtesy of Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park

And if recent reports are anything to go by, many of Africa’s 11 species of vulture are in imminent danger of extinction.  In July this year up to 600 vultures died at a single elephant carcass that was poisoned near Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park.  There have been three other similar incidents in the wider region since the end of 2012, with each incident killing hundreds of vultures.

White-backed vultures poisoned at an elephant carcass.  Photo courtesy of Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park
White-backed vultures poisoned at an elephant carcass. Photo courtesy of Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park

Vultures are long-lived birds that reproduce very slowly, producing an average of one chick every other year.  Their current mortality rates are well above what is sustainable and populations of all species are crashing across the continent.

And if you don’t love vultures, you should.  They are nature’s most efficient and effective clean-up crew.  They go about their daily business without any fanfare.  Yet, in their little appreciated role, they are ensuring that our increasingly polluted planet remains a bit less polluted from the bacteria and other pathogens that accumulate on carcasses and at garbage dumps.  If you have ever seen the immaculately cleaned bones remaining from a carcass scavenged by vultures, you’ll know of the magic of these supremely adapted scavengers.

 

NEXTHow to Hold a Vulture While in the Grip of a Jackal

 

Comments

  1. Lovemore Mose
    Gaborone, Botswana
    January 15, 4:46 am

    I work for a non profit conservation organisation and I want to use this photo for our presentations and other information and publicity materials. Please advice me on the procedure to follow to request for the permission/right to use this photo.

  2. Manish Vaidya
    Ahmedabad, State of Gujarat - INDIA
    November 1, 2013, 12:52 am

    It is very sad… our laws and it implementation is very poor…

    WILDLIFE CRIME (Discussion group)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/211716455624267/

  3. Faye
    United States
    October 20, 2013, 3:52 pm

    This overall is very sad, a catch 22.
    Either the animals die or the people die.
    its ridiculous and upsetting the effects of their actions.
    but I cant help but think why do this?
    survival.
    Cause/Effect of why they have to do this in the first place.
    A historically great country with a surplus of diamonds and gold raped continuously economically.
    until nothing remains left except for people living the best way they can.
    Its sad that historical savages live well and good while the founders of culture and greatness suffer here in this future.

  4. C
    September 18, 2013, 2:44 am

    Unbelievable stop this or we have about 100 jears or sooner no elephents lefft on this earth ridicoulous that people do this

  5. C.Verhagen.
    September 18, 2013, 2:42 am

    This is ridiculous, we needed as mankind stap up and pectect the elephents en other animals that need our help. stop this before we have about 100 jears maybe sooner no elephents on this planet

  6. Rajab
    Dar-es-salaam - Tanzania
    September 17, 2013, 2:20 am

    Its very sad to hear that.. The Park authority together with government needs to have a proper way in order stopping this poaching. because if not, wont be surprise seeing extinct of this large animals like happened to such animals like Rhinos.

  7. Hugo Desjardins
    Kinshasa
    September 13, 2013, 12:20 pm

    The high price of Ivory (raising) on the black market make it difficult to stop poachers and corrupted authorities are also part of the problem.

    Drone as mentionned previously on the page is a very efficient way to chase the poachers in joint program with National Authority and International NGOs like WWF.

    Killing poachers will not solve any problem, they will be repalced like drug dealers arrested or killed are always replaced.

    Better coordination between African Country Authorities and international NGO (with more money to be given to monitore the population) is one of the only solution…..we are turning in circle. In Congo, rebels groups are killing Rhinos and Elephant and they are not event taking the Ivory…

  8. Sander romero
    Philippines
    September 13, 2013, 2:18 am

    Each and evreyone of us have the responsibilty to protect our wildlife…i wanna be a part of national geographic to protect every animals in africa..

  9. paulm
    sydney
    September 12, 2013, 10:58 pm

    Just eradicate in a humane way all large animals in africa now. Save deaths by a thousand cuts. They will all be gone eventually. At least the crooks will not make any money

  10. Carol Ricciuto
    Ontario, Canada
    September 12, 2013, 9:19 pm

    The problem with poaching, as with anything else illegal, is the actual manpower enabled to bring them down. It is also highly reliant on the amount of co-operation from government authorities (local and on up the scale). If you have a governing party that will turn a blind eye to the goings on, then they will also think nothing of decreasing the numbers in the forces who are deputized to go after these killers. Governments don’t actually care about our wildlife – it is the one consistency that is throughout all governments – unless there is money to be made from them or if public outcry is so very great that they have to ‘at least pretend’ they are doing something. There is no point in boycotting the country, as they (the poachers) will find a way to get the illegal gains out of the country anyway…after all, that is the poachers pay source. Cutting the snake at the head will stop the shake of the rattles in the tails. Good luck to all creatures on this planet, the two legged human kind have been destroying you for years now, but soon what befell you, will befall them…ten-fold.

  11. Laurella Desborough
    United States
    September 12, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I think it would be a great idea to put some top notch military helicopters and military personnel out there to shoot poachers, to take photos and put them on the internet, to catch some poachers and find out their contacts before shooting them. Research the entire chain of commerce connected to the elephant killing. And go after the entire chain. That includes any big businessmen in China or Africa or anywhere. This needs to stop because it threatens the biodiversity of the planet. It threatens the health of the ecosystem in Africa as well as destroys an intelligent important species of animal, and those vultures too. I don’t care how poor the poachers are. There are other poor people who are NOT poaching!! There are poor people all over the world, including plenty in the US and they do not go out and kill off wildlife! While the death of the poachers is unfortunate, they are not an endangered species. Massive lethal response to poaching should make a huge difference in the willingness of locals to kill elephants for their tusks. IF they were so hungry, you would think they would be eating the flesh of the dead elephants. But no, they want MONEY…this is not just about poverty.

  12. jj
    September 12, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Source of the problem:

    CHINA

  13. Livi
    Toronto
    September 12, 2013, 2:22 pm

    Blame on other people is not a good way to stop illegal hunting. It is our responsibility to protect animals and save our planet. Nobody wants to live on a planet without animals and ice.

  14. kunzang dolma
    india
    September 12, 2013, 12:02 pm

    its time humans left the earth!!!!

  15. kunzang dolma
    india
    September 12, 2013, 12:01 pm

    its time mankind left the earth!!!!

  16. Dani Meyer
    United States
    September 12, 2013, 11:40 am

    I see a lot of comments from people wanting heads to put blame on. Go ahead and point your fingers, this accomplishes nothing. You can blame your brother for eating the apple you picked from the orchard, but this futile act brings back no apples and hurts both you and your brother. It is he who plants the apple seed and maintains steadfast, diligent patience who accomplishes the feat of bringing about more apples. Perhaps a more productive discussion would entail how this issue might be avoided in the future. There are too many people for our shared planet to support. Is it possible to justify contributing even one more life to an already grossly overpopulated species? I see comments denoting one of the reasons for these events is people trying to support their families. We already consider ourselves superior to every other living thing on this planet when the fact of the matter is we are no more or less important that every other life here. Those vultures had families and so too did the elephant laced with poison. Everything on this planet is intertwined. If we are to see ourselves as exceptional, we could at least try to act the part by acknowledging that we are not the most important species on this planet and then make an effort to act upon this knowledge in order to benefit all life, not just our own.

  17. Muhindo Leslie
    Uganda
    September 12, 2013, 8:50 am

    Great thinkers of this world; is there a way we can get an alternative sustainable trade for these people, so that they can abandon POACHING?

  18. Alexa Orsi
    Kenya
    September 12, 2013, 3:22 am

    *Barbara Du Plessis

    Tanzania
    September 4, 2:18 pm
    Unfortunately the poachers mostly are the little guys trying to earn a living to look after their families …. When u have so little and your family is starving why would they care about the life of an animal! That is where they are coming from — it’s a means to an ends! Yes it’s sad that they don’t see the true value of wildlife .. It’s awful that they kill.
    But think of all those far cats in positions of power in these African countries who assist them with the vehicles, weapons, transport of the ivory/horns and the export of the product! The little poacher has no ability to do this! The powerful African people in the right positions which allow the export/ smuggling of the items are the ones who sell the product to the eastern countries and they are the ones making the big bucks!! Greed and corruption in Africa is going to be the fall of Africa.
    I sometimes wonder how much protesting or awareness campaigns are actually done in the end user countries !! In. China and Korea or Taiwan whoever are the culprits for creating and promoting the demand for these items — are they really aware of the damage they are contributing to!?! Do they really really know with scientific reasoning that the rhino horn is no more of an sex drug than grinding and smoking your own hair or nails! Are these stories plastered all over their news like it is all over ours? Are they taught in school the tremendous decrease in African wildlife thanks to their ancient culture… Are there posters and billboards spread along their roads with stats and pictures of the death and destruction we are shown weekly of dead rhino, vultures, elephant ??
    I would like to know who’s trying to investigate who the big wigs fat cats are in each of our countries making the big bucks from these murders and who is going to put a 200% effort in to work hand in hand with the Eastern Countries authorities to curb this demand for the slaughter of our beloved animals!?!
    Sad to say that Killing the poacher isn’t going to stop the fat cats from wanting their pockets full and it won’t stop the demand .. You will just deprive his family of a father or a son trying to support his family in countries where they don’t have enough skills and education and unemployment is rife. Reality sucks doesn’t it! Stop the corrupt officials and stop the end user!*

    I totally agree with you. Same is happening in Kenya, and we all know it’s the corrupted Authorities that are allowing and promoting this killing in the name of money (for the FAT CATs)

  19. Fredrick Wanyama
    Uganda
    September 12, 2013, 3:14 am

    This is very unfortunate. I believe there are “Ivory Lords” just like drug lord, who controls a sizable network of persons involved in the illegal ivory trade. These are the figures who encourage mass killing of elephants. Such “Big figures” are often difficult to bring to justice, as they might never be directly in possession of something illegal, but are insulated from the actual trade in ivory by several layers of underlings.

  20. Kyampaire Rosette
    Kampala, Uganda
    September 12, 2013, 3:02 am

    It is unfair to ignore animal rights and consider human rights only. People should change their attitudes towards wildlife and preserve these unique creatures.

  21. Dinesh kumar.M
    Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India
    September 12, 2013, 1:49 am

    Shoot them at sight, or death penalty for poachers and who goes against our nature and environment.

    KILL THOSE *******.

  22. Dee
    September 12, 2013, 12:00 am

    So sad that so many lives are killed for money. People keep saying that ivory goes to China. I am Chinese myself and I haven’t seen or heard ivory traded around. Common Chinese people just don’t go around to buy ivory. It’s so strange. Where did it really go? If to China, what kind of stuff is it made into and where is it traded at? Who are buying them? I think more details and investigation will help all of us to take actions to help protect the elephants.

  23. Big Eye
    Americas
    September 11, 2013, 9:35 pm

    Drones are the answer to poachers. Think about it.

  24. Chuy
    Chicago
    September 11, 2013, 5:17 pm

    The problem is the Far East demand! Sorry Charlie, there”s no ancient Chinese secret in IVORY, or any other animal part!
    Why isn’t the Far East informed and educated on these matters. Why is it that they get off scott free?

  25. Marilola
    España JAVEA
    September 11, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Deberían de terminar de matar a todos los animales basta ya

  26. S.L.v.d.Blom
    Curaçao
    September 11, 2013, 3:57 pm

    It just makes me sick, what a cruelty!!! :(

  27. Founders1791
    September 11, 2013, 3:57 pm

    Here is a better idea to solve this problem…….

    (1) Online wold wide fund of donations for BOUNTIES on these poachers dead or alive.

    (2) Online photos of the poachers and their names

    (3) Online photos of the ‘consumers’ of Ivory, Rino horn, and Bear gall bladders who cause the demand in the first place

    There is a solution to this problem:
    ……………………..if there is a will, there is a way!

  28. GABY NÓBILE
    Málaga, España
    September 11, 2013, 3:06 pm

    si hay oferta..es porque desgraciadamente existe la demanda.. Habría que castigar a ambos..

  29. Michael Pujdak
    CA, USA
    September 11, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Is there a place I can sign Me and my rifle up to go participate in catching, trapping, poisoning, or poaching the poachers? I would go in a heartbeat, without pay.

  30. Venom_geach
    Florida U.S.A.
    September 11, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Death to all poachers and anyone who aid’s them!

  31. Founders1791
    September 11, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Another way to stop these poachers is for Africa, and some Western nations, to BOYCOTT “all goods” from China, India, & Middle eastern countries who trade in Ivory, Rhino horns, Bear Gall bladders, etc.

    Literally force ships at the dock to go back where they came from if their country is caught soliciting these materials.

  32. Founders1791
    USA
    September 11, 2013, 2:13 pm

    There must be public execution of poachers to instill in the population that this crime will not be tolerated

    One way to carry out that sentence is allow the elephants to trample the criminals to death and run the tape on television over and over again…..

  33. hosenmahjob
    iran
    September 11, 2013, 1:26 pm

    oh god

  34. Mark
    Nederland
    September 11, 2013, 1:23 pm

    even IF those vultures were them most useless animal on the world I’d still be disgusted with how people treat other animals

  35. bernardette domingos
    Caracas
    September 11, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Yo no estoy de acuerdo a que le hagan esto a los pobres animales inofensivos … por eso la pena para esta clase de gente seria la muerte … siendo asi la gente no seguiría haciéndole mas daño a los pobres animales !

  36. yapa
    sri lanka
    September 11, 2013, 12:52 pm

    den athi,oya weda natharakaranna

  37. Issara
    USA
    September 11, 2013, 12:41 pm

    TOO Sadd

  38. rosa
    bs as argentina
    September 11, 2013, 12:05 pm

    basta ya de todo eso

  39. john
    Philippines
    September 11, 2013, 11:43 am

    those poachers should be sentenced to death…… fed to the lions…..

    destroying the balance of nature will cause harm to all living organism……

  40. Cheyenne
    Canada
    September 11, 2013, 11:32 am

    Is there any foundation Nation Geographic supports to which we can donate to? I’d love to offer monthly donations to an elephant protection charity, but always distrust where your money actually goes.. If NatGeo supports one though, I’d feel more trusting of their operations.

  41. Prajwal Tulachan
    Nepal
    September 11, 2013, 10:55 am

    Just Too Depressing and Too Sad. Perhaps the laws are getting too soft on these cruel poachers. Perhaps the strong action is only the anwer.

  42. roel
    Riyadh
    September 11, 2013, 10:34 am

    Ignorance and Greed will kill us all :(

  43. Steph
    Jermyn
    September 11, 2013, 8:22 am

    You’d think if the poachers and buyers were smart they would realize that there will be a shortage at some point. The Chinese and others reckon to be so clever and intelligent. Well why can’t you create a substitute. You do this type of destruction in the world we share, we all will pay the consequences. So many smart money hungry people around but the common sense I guess is worth more than you can buy.

  44. said el mamouni
    Morocco
    September 11, 2013, 8:17 am

    I wonder how many of you saying we should punish and we should…. what w’ill you say about syrie ? palastine? and what america is doing to innecent ! should we punish america too?

  45. Valerie
    Gr,mich
    September 11, 2013, 8:08 am

    The reason those Africans poach, is a source of income. Until someone can find a way for them to make other income they’ll likely keep killing.but the REAL problem is the Asians! They want the ivory, they want the animal testicles and, gorilla feet, etc.They are the ones that use that stuff in herbal concoctions .go to china town in NY, and they have stores full of stuff, stolen from the planet. Go to Asia, and you’ll see monkeys in cages, to eat, snakes in jars, and scorpions on a stick.

  46. rolando Cichero
    Italy
    September 11, 2013, 8:05 am

    Después nos lamentamos de los problemas… AQUI ESTAN ELLOS… HAGAMOS LO IMPOSIBLE PARA QUE NO SE REPITA…

  47. Gohar Ayub
    September 11, 2013, 7:41 am

    This shows us how hungry we are in acquiring materialistic gains , even if it requires the mass killing of innocent birds , let alone humans.

  48. sabir
    AFGHANISTAN
    September 11, 2013, 7:31 am

    I HATE POACHERS THEY ARE MURDERER

  49. marvin kang
    kenya
    September 11, 2013, 6:50 am

    if poachers have the guts to kill our animals using their hands. let us punish them by chopping their hands in public.

  50. Paula Ilona
    01350
    September 11, 2013, 6:21 am

    horrific, terrible people brutally killing innocent animals :(

  51. Fievet
    France
    September 11, 2013, 6:16 am

    It’s horrible
    And just only for money
    How can we stop that?

  52. Slavko Kostic
    Serbia
    September 11, 2013, 6:11 am

    This is probably one of the series of events that prove not enlightenment of humanity and the fragility of our influence in preserving the nature of the cruel system that has created a” civilization”.
    Not a solution to convict, but should realize why these events and stop the causes and reasons.

  53. Susana Ines Grillo
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    September 11, 2013, 6:09 am

    While the Far East will keep demanding for ivory nothing will change. It is very important and crucial talk to the local authorities to control this demand. Combat at the source of the problem is the only solution. What an absurd situation!

  54. Achuu
    Kampala
    September 11, 2013, 5:57 am

    The problem of elephant poaching should be dealt with because it is a threat not only to elephants and vultures but to the food-web. It therefore requires an extensive approach to solving it; that looks beyond the scenes of killing including the entire processing and marking of ivory. At all stages and levels tight interventions should be created. In addition the social and economic causes of poaching should be handled at local levels so as to discourage these dangerous acts.

  55. WJ
    Singapore
    September 11, 2013, 5:41 am

    Seriously, I am shocked and disgusted… Just to make a quick buck and those damned poachers must murder everything in the food chain. Why is it so hard to take action against them?

  56. adnan tat
    türkey
    September 11, 2013, 5:39 am

    Yaban alandaki bu katliam derhal durdurulmalıdır. Yetkililer uluslararası birimleri harekete geçirmelidir. Fil dişi, kaplan derisinden sonra birde akbaba katliamı kabul edilemez. Bunu yapanlar ağır cezalara çarptırılmalıdır.

  57. K Hanen
    Canada
    September 11, 2013, 5:35 am

    People can really be a disgusting lot can’t they? And all for an ivory trinket.

  58. Vinod Nalla
    United Kingdom
    September 11, 2013, 5:04 am

    Such a bad situation. Vultures & Elephants are such a beautiful creatures. Can WWF involve and do something to stop it?

  59. sudha hegde
    Bangalore, India
    September 11, 2013, 4:58 am

    Barbarian act. animal lovers around the world should act now.

  60. Enea
    Bologna-Italy
    September 11, 2013, 4:48 am

    Unfortunately are the same rangers that sell horns and fangs. We need more controls with helicopters and airplanes

  61. Shawn
    Canada
    September 11, 2013, 4:32 am

    Drastic action should be taken against poachers I agree. In these times and understanding of ecosystems there is no need for killing of this type. Weather it be elephants rhinos or vaultors. Poachers should be shot on sight. But why stop there? I wouldn’t . Follow the poacher to his buyer. And his buyer kill the buyers and there will no longer be a market. Go after the Chinese and others that buy the ivory if it wasn’t for them there would be no killing of elephant s for their tusks. It’s funny that the ivory buying people have killed off all the elephants so now they have to get other populations killed. Kill the sourse as well as murdering field man I say.

  62. eddie
    london england
    September 11, 2013, 4:08 am

    can i become a gamekeeper and shoot these b*****d poachers without any recriminations?

  63. Justin Mayini
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    September 11, 2013, 3:41 am

    Very sad what poachers can do. Here in Zimbabwe, a few days ago, they laced water ponds with ‘salted-cyanide’ and killed 41 jumbos in a National Park. Just breaks my heart!

  64. neel
    India, chennai
    September 11, 2013, 3:05 am

    This is really sad . . . heart breaks

  65. Marc
    Philippines
    September 11, 2013, 2:56 am

    Little search result https://www.google.com.ph/#q=african+people+hacked+with+machetes+and+burned&spell=1
    How can us expect people that no value for human life to value the life of animals? In the N NE you have breeding grounds for terrorist the S long place for racial inequality/brutality then the rest of the country with it’s horrific atrocities against humans. If you can do the things people are doing to eachother in this country how do us think they will care about animals

  66. Yaone Mat
    Botswana
    September 11, 2013, 2:50 am

    trade of ivory needs to be stopped they are killing and damaging our beautiful land. not to mention our military and wildlife authorities lifes being in danger

  67. SURESH DIVECHA
    USA
    September 11, 2013, 2:14 am

    THE IGNORANT OR UNCIVILIZED WHO DON’T CARE OR DON’T HAVE ABILITIES TO UNDERSTAND THE MOTHER NATURE EFFECTS OF REMOVING ANY BEING FROM THE CYCLE OF ALL BEING CREATION OF THE G O D THE VEDAS (SANATAN DHARMA VEDIC CULTURE) CLEAR SAYS IT’S A SIN TO HARM OR KILL ANY BEING, ONCE THIS PEOPLE GET MEAT & THEN THINK IT’S OK TO KILL, THE CONCEPTS CONTINUES TO HUMAN & THEY KILL HUMANS TOO BECAUSE OF JUST IGNORING THE MESSAGE OR DIDN’T GET THE CONCEPTS OF GOES AROUND COMES AROUND ( BHAGWAT GITA) A HINDU HOLY BOOK

  68. imtiaz
    hunza pakistan
    September 11, 2013, 1:58 am

    give bani fits to community . if u do not do that’s this will heaping all the time
    The Khunzerav National Park was established primarily as a means to protect the Marco Polo sheep but we know we can not find one marco polo sheep in park because from the park we do not bani fits so parole hunt and send and sale

  69. Daniel
    September 11, 2013, 1:52 am

    Why not POACH the Poachers instead? After all, wildlife population is outnumbered by human population, it’s time to wipe out a third, no, two thirds of mankind to give chance to wildlife to regenerate.

  70. DENIS
    Uganda
    September 11, 2013, 1:52 am

    I propose a shoot on spot of every poacher found or suspected to be involved such inhuman acts against wildlife.
    the weak laws governing wildlife especially in Africa are also to blame. As if killing one elephant isn’t enough, one goes ahead to poison the hundreds of birds. lets stop calling them poachers but terrorists. God is watching them.

  71. Moses Olinga
    Kampala
    September 11, 2013, 1:48 am

    It is very horrible indeed African countries need to wake up, i must also add that the level of elephant poaching in Africa has reached worrying levels i believe even the UN needs to take keen interest on this. The criminal syndicates from Asia need to be checked, short of that we are loosing the battle. African countries need to work on legislation to provide for deterrent punishment. If culprits are given 10-15 years jail sentences, this will help alongside other strategies.

  72. Asif Ali
    Punjab, Pakistan.
    September 11, 2013, 1:47 am

    Poachers should be shot on sight. just death penalty.

  73. Prasad Kulkarni
    India
    September 11, 2013, 1:42 am

    I feel that awareness and education about these amazing animals and their importance to our life should be enhanced,
    stop buying and promoting the material which is made out of animals……….. make the alternatives livelihood available for these people and at last take strict action on such persons whoever it may be…………………..
    Or some day will come when even the elephants will be shown in the picture and films to our next generations.
    We have to act now…………………………….. or it will be never

  74. Ceasar
    USA
    September 11, 2013, 1:37 am

    I would like to see countries invest time and money on things like this instead of war…. but you can only hope and wish

  75. Moses Olinga
    Kampala
    September 11, 2013, 1:24 am

    This is a very horrible crime, unfortunately in most of our African countries, the legislation is so lenient that the perpetrators of these crime even when apprehended just walk with very light sentences. It is a high time that Authorities in African countries take firm action against poaching. Even if it means changing laws to provide for hash sentences, so be it. The UN needs to come into the rescue of African countries and help provide resources to combat this vice, short of this we shall wake up tomorrow with no more African elephants.

  76. Lava
    Singapore
    September 11, 2013, 1:23 am

    I think the root cause would be the rich ******** who profit off this terrible business. They are the ones we need to target, not the small guys doing the dirty work.

    If only we could have environmental terrorists target these people. I would gladly support such a group.

  77. neli
    Bulgaria
    September 11, 2013, 1:20 am

    sorri but people do not think about people

  78. michelle
    Tanzania
    September 11, 2013, 1:17 am

    Well, said Barbara – lets nail the Fat cats sitting in their ivory towers (excuse the pun) as they are the only ones profiting from this. I bet they’ve never ever even seen an elephant in the wild and never will, especially at the rate they’re being killed.
    Its all so tragic and all the campaigns, petitions and demonstrations just seem to have no impact at all – you read one horrendous story in the news and the next day another one makes your jaw drop even wider and your heart break even more.

  79. Zaheer Ahmed
    Pakistan
    September 11, 2013, 1:16 am

    Strange are we the human beings. Love to cut the branch we are sitting on.

  80. ROBERTO VIERA
    CARACAS-VENEZUELA
    September 11, 2013, 1:08 am

    DEBERIAN REESCRIBIR LAS LEYES Y QUE SEAN MAS SEVERAS AL MOMENTO DE ATENTAR CONTRA ESTAS BELLEZAS, OJO POR OJO.

  81. SPC Maduri
    September 11, 2013, 12:57 am

    “just trying to earn a living” is not justification for this… by virtue of that argument I can kidnap people and steal there organs dumping them in the trash because I cant get another job and was irresponsible enough to breed knowing I have no means to support a family?

  82. Karim Paprika
    McAllen, TX
    September 11, 2013, 12:54 am

    It’s a shame human being just don’t get it. We just can’t live in peace with earth!
    We kill and kill and kill and destroy everything is beautiful for stupid people and reasons.
    I hope all this people get what they deserve and more and I hope that everyone that uses ivory and everything stolen from a gorgeous life as an elephant, tastes hell here in life.

  83. soulus
    September 11, 2013, 12:45 am

    i’m so sorry mother earth : (

  84. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL
    Australia
    September 11, 2013, 12:44 am

    No wonder human beings are the most dangerous ANIMALS in our world

  85. Dimitry
    Los Angeles, CA
    September 11, 2013, 12:42 am

    what a cruelty!

  86. juliana santos
    ecuador
    September 11, 2013, 12:28 am

    como hacen eso malparidos hijos de puta por q mas bn no me la chupan y se entretienen con mi cuca en ves de estar asesinando

  87. Jenny
    Malaysia
    September 11, 2013, 12:28 am

    Stop the demand, and there will be no need of supply. But it’s not easy as human are very unpredictable! They abhors the poaching and killing, but they still want to be able to have beautiful carvings out of ivory, fur coats made from baby seals..etc..

  88. Umi Nurjannah
    Indonesia
    September 11, 2013, 12:27 am

    ohh my,, they don’t have humanity because their heart was dead.. maby they do that for some money but not with kill animals just for a bit part of them

  89. Samuel Besigye
    Partnerships Coordinator, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Kampala, Uganda
    September 10, 2013, 12:48 pm

    According to The Uganda Vision 2040, tourism is the most important sector for Uganda’s economic transformation. Our tourism potential largely depends on nature based attractions, like elephants. As a country; we have 7% of the World’s mammal species (including elephants). When we read horrific stories like this one, we become traumatised. We appeal to the international community to give us both the necessary moral and financial support to enable us bring these poachers to justice. These poachers are determined to rob us of our only comparative advantage in the global economy. The most effective strategy to address this crisis is to declare the poachers as terrorists, so that they are treated like any other insurgent group. Worse still; illegal ivory trade is fueling regional conflict in the D.R. Congo, Southern Sudan and Somalia. This has the effect of undermining the long term security of Uganda.

  90. S McCauley
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 2:26 pm

    Poaching is not occurring just because some people want to feed their families. There are worldwide criminal syndicates involved. Now that the President of Kenya has welcomed China (whose president has built ivory carving factories and plans to build ivory carving schools) there will be even more poaching.

  91. Sammy
    Leeds
    September 4, 2013, 9:01 pm

    Isn’t is a shame that the wealth and resources of our planet are distributed so poorly that people will destroy beautiful things in order to survive. How can you punish someone for wanting to feed their family? This is discussing and so is killing the wild life…

  92. Barbara Du Plessis
    Tanzania
    September 4, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Unfortunately the poachers mostly are the little guys trying to earn a living to look after their families …. When u have so little and your family is starving why would they care about the life of an animal! That is where they are coming from — it’s a means to an ends! Yes it’s sad that they don’t see the true value of wildlife .. It’s awful that they kill.
    But think of all those far cats in positions of power in these African countries who assist them with the vehicles, weapons, transport of the ivory/horns and the export of the product! The little poacher has no ability to do this! The powerful African people in the right positions which allow the export/ smuggling of the items are the ones who sell the product to the eastern countries and they are the ones making the big bucks!! Greed and corruption in Africa is going to be the fall of Africa.
    I sometimes wonder how much protesting or awareness campaigns are actually done in the end user countries !! In. China and Korea or Taiwan whoever are the culprits for creating and promoting the demand for these items — are they really aware of the damage they are contributing to!?! Do they really really know with scientific reasoning that the rhino horn is no more of an sex drug than grinding and smoking your own hair or nails! Are these stories plastered all over their news like it is all over ours? Are they taught in school the tremendous decrease in African wildlife thanks to their ancient culture… Are there posters and billboards spread along their roads with stats and pictures of the death and destruction we are shown weekly of dead rhino, vultures, elephant ??
    I would like to know who’s trying to investigate who the big wigs fat cats are in each of our countries making the big bucks from these murders and who is going to put a 200% effort in to work hand in hand with the Eastern Countries authorities to curb this demand for the slaughter of our beloved animals!?!
    Sad to say that Killing the poacher isn’t going to stop the fat cats from wanting their pockets full and it won’t stop the demand .. You will just deprive his family of a father or a son trying to support his family in countries where they don’t have enough skills and education and unemployment is rife. Reality sucks doesn’t it! Stop the corrupt officials and stop the end user!

  93. Keven
    September 4, 2013, 10:32 am

    They have already hired former US Navy Seals and Green Berets to come in and train them on gorilla warfare tactics and teach them how to kill the poachers efficiently. The American soldiers have gone from hired hands to animal rights activists one of them was quoted as saying “Our experiences have made us angry and heartbroken,” says Saw. “But most of all, they’ve left us motivated. Protecting the rhino has gone from a mission to a calling. The most dangerous soldier in any war is one who fights with his heart.” It’s about time someone started shooting back at these poachers to defend these helpless animals.

  94. Stepniak annie
    France Paris
    September 4, 2013, 2:34 am

    Une horreur, le monde entier doit arrêter ces massacres d’animaux pour le plaisir des nantis

  95. jake
    United Kingdom
    September 3, 2013, 5:39 pm

    you lot are nuts..i think this is disgusting but to say “kill the poachers” is less human than killing elephants…what about all the animals in your own countries that face extinction because of your own actions!..im not going to talk about neo-colonialism here, i fear it would go straight over your heads unlike the vulture s which will be totally extinct by 2050 largely as a result of dyclofenac not elephant poaching…peace

  96. Jaafar M. Kaura
    Nigeria
    September 3, 2013, 5:13 pm

    This is inhuman. How can a sane individual commit such a crime against innocent predators. May God protect us from such people and save this vast source’s for us.

  97. Anthony
    Massachusetts, USA.
    September 3, 2013, 2:52 pm

    It amazes me that with the slaughter of Elephants, Rhino’s, Gorillas’ to the point of extinction by a ignorant greedy inhuman species such as poachers, that we the concerned human beings of this (our only) world, should place a hefty bounty on this sad, disgusting animal called the “poacher” to be brought in dead or alive…. Lets make them the target for game and profit.

  98. renata flis
    lukovica
    September 3, 2013, 4:40 am

    TO JE NEZASLIŠANO,NEHUMANO,NEČLOVEŠKO POČETJE,ŽIVALI SE MORA NUJNO ZAŠČITITI ,TA GROZODEJSTVA TAKOJ USTAVITI IN STROGO KAZNOVATI.

  99. Pete Braun
    Troy, MI
    September 3, 2013, 2:52 am

    Forget arresting, authorities should just kill any suspected poacher on sight. Better still, have public executions of them to send a warning to any wannabe poachers as to what will happen to them.

  100. K Webb
    Lexington, KY
    September 2, 2013, 8:40 pm

    the poachers must be poached. period. zero tolerance.

  101. Namit Gupta
    India
    September 2, 2013, 1:55 pm

    This is shameful…Humans have become so inhuman to every single creature of world and destroying it… I feel sorry to be part of such species :(

  102. Paul
    Malaysia
    September 2, 2013, 8:32 am

    It the world wants to see less of this sort of thing that then people need to stop breeding like rabbits.

  103. Thomas Schneider
    Vienna,Austria
    September 2, 2013, 4:04 am

    Yes Philip Brown this is a good tool for People at School LIVING in the area of the wildlife. The same is done in area of a park where i volunteered a couple of times and it works pretty well but its not enough. the native People may not just be educated about the importance of wildlife but as well given a benefit like Job oppurtunities. this was the way where i worked as a governmental Programm started to Train local People for Jobs in the industry which of course followed the appreciations of wildlife by the People. it had it success. i m happy to be able to say that in those times some places remain around Holding good future for wildlife through this Kind of work. but like you say the reeducation really has to be concentrated at People of their countries the wildlife is living. all starts and attempts trying to educate People in other countries and all around the world which are not connected to african wildlife about its poaching Problem and the importance is pointless and to Forget. we tried this for decades and nowhere in the world ,accept of some of the native countries , the majority started to Change their thinking and care about wildlife. because they have no benefit of it and the thinking will never Change if People have no benefits of it, unfortunately.

  104. Thomas Schneider
    Vienna,Austria
    September 2, 2013, 3:49 am

    I read this Story Long Time ago and it really saddens me, makes me become evil and so much else when i see that now even other animals which arent even Targets of poacher have to pay the Price because they could lead to them. Robert K Mulgwe how do we want to do this?what do we want to say or do to them to stop this? because all what they care about is the Money they can make with it so you can tell them what you want, they will always laugh you down.

  105. Shermin de Silva
    United States
    September 1, 2013, 7:25 pm

    The poison is indiscriminate – not just vultures, but every other carnivore that takes nibble on a carcass could be affected. This is going to throw ecosystems dangerously out of whack.

  106. Robert k Mulgrew
    Sheffield England
    September 1, 2013, 2:44 am

    Why o why can we not put pressure on the country’s who are importing ivory they are the cause of these senseless murders.

  107. Umesh Bhatta
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    August 31, 2013, 10:57 pm

    I feel pity for the innocent creatures. In return to their gallantry service to the mankind we reward them by taking away their life. Why?? Absolute shame !!

  108. Philip Brown
    Uk
    August 31, 2013, 5:31 pm

    Poachers are a lost cause. Re-education must begin in the schools. They have to learn to appreciate what natural wonders their countries possess and that they are the curators of their wildlife.

  109. Lucy A
    Italy
    August 31, 2013, 3:01 pm

    Terrible double crimes towards elephants and birds.

    Let the vultures eat the poachers….oh no!! poor birds..they’d be poisoned by the rotten meat of these trashy *beings*.

  110. Simon Hjelm
    Stockholm, Sweden
    August 31, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Doesn’t human kind have a common sense anymore? What kind of heartless people do such things as this!? Pisses me the *** of!

  111. Renu
    London
    August 31, 2013, 1:03 pm

    The poachers are also victims in that they are being exploited by the wealthy and the corporations who use the tusks. These are the guys to go after and providing those who carry out the poaching with another way of making a living will also help.

  112. Valentina
    Colombia
    August 31, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I hate this kind of things, animals also have feelings.

  113. Rory Hamilton
    Glasgow, Scotland
    August 31, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Forget going after the poachers. Stop what creates the industry – Criminal gangs in East Asia offer vast sums of cash to people in poverty. of course they’ll take the money. If there’s nobody to buy the ivory, the poachers will very quickly stop

  114. Karen Howard-Tripp
    Canada
    August 31, 2013, 8:49 am

    Disgusting, so so e needs to start a petition tout pressure on the govt.

  115. gabi taylor
    United States
    August 31, 2013, 4:18 am

    I REALLY LIKE this group of commenters! Damn, you guys are beautiful! :-D

  116. Robert
    United States
    August 31, 2013, 2:33 am

    The authorities should make the poachers eat parts of the poisoned dead elephants and vultures.

  117. Johan Krüger Haglert
    Örebro, Sweden
    August 30, 2013, 11:22 pm

    Just shoot the **** poachers already.

    Also **** people using animals in general.

  118. Andy
    UK
    August 30, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Poachers should be shot on sight, if I had my way, all perpetrators of crimes against animals would be dealt with in this way, from poachers, fox hunters to dog fighters.

  119. Daniel Jost
    Switzerland
    August 30, 2013, 4:48 pm

    The authorities could become a little more creative by poisoning the poachers they catch, filming their slow death and publishing the videos online as a deterrent both for future candidates and buyers in the Far East…

  120. sarah young
    United Kingdom
    August 30, 2013, 4:09 pm

    i think it all should be stopped theres to much killing of animals and to much poaching going on .

  121. Carol Smith
    Nantwich, UK
    August 30, 2013, 3:03 pm

    A truly horrendous crime that is becoming so very frequent in Africa as the poaching escalates. These birds have no chance of a future unless massive efforts by governments are made to ensure strong penalties for such activities. Africa will rue the day if it loses its vultures

  122. Kev tanner
    Banbury, England
    August 30, 2013, 2:57 pm

    There isn’t a punishment around that fits the crime that these poachers ( human beings?) commit. These type of pictures need to be pushed onto those in authority that can help in someway to protect these wonderful animals more than they are doing at present. I know they are awful photos but they need to be shown to a much wider audience to help towards the protection of these wonderful animals.

  123. Phillip H George
    North Carolina, USA
    August 30, 2013, 12:59 pm

    “Thank you for the information!”
    “I wish the world would wake up and come to the aid of all the creatures!” Sadly that’s like SHOUTING IN THE WIND, At least I had a way to shout, Thanks Again!

  124. Rebecca L Welter
    Dallas, TX
    August 30, 2013, 11:36 am

    …Just breaks my heart…for the elephants and the vultures.