Global classifications classify elephants as a vulnerable species, and rhinos as endangered. Their populations have been decreasing for years due to all manner of things. Amongst others, climate change and straying into human villages are big killers. However, poaching is the number one killer of rare animals such as these. However, Tanzania introduced an anti-poaching task force in 2016, and recently released the data.
It’s good news! The anti-poaching task force has helped populations of both elephants and rhinos to boom in Tanzania.
Tanzania says elephant, rhino populations rebounding after anti-poaching crackdown https://t.co/GWkNFSrwIi pic.twitter.com/eatpFQ4jqI
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 13, 2019
“As a result of the work of a special task force launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching, elephant populations have increased from 43,330 in 2014 to over 60,000 presently,” read a statement from the Tanzanian government.
However, the rhino statistics are even more impressive. According to the government, there were just 15 rhinos in Tanzania in 2015. Now, government statistics show 167!
The rhinos are making a comeback! 🦏https://t.co/THzt8gvdcf
— Global Citizen (@GlblCtzn) July 15, 2019
Why Do We Need An Anti-Poaching Task Force?
Elephants are poached for their ivory tusks, which are sold on through the black market and used to make jewelery and ornaments. Poachers kill rhinos on the other hand, for their horns. Many people believe that the horns have medicinal properties, despite being made of keratin, like human fingernails.
Poachers kill the animals for this, or those left without tusks or horns will die in the wild. However, the anti-poaching task force in Tanzania has cracked down on poachers. The government also sentenced many poachers to lengthy stays in prison.
Populations are booming, and poaching is decreasing. Elephant and rhino species often live in protected national parks, and it is this added level of protection that is helping their numbers so much.
Let us know what you think of this incredible feat in the comments. Did you think the anti-poaching force would be so successful? Don’t forget to share with your family and friends as well!
Images courtesy of Sky News.