This National Park Has Opted To Shoot Poachers To Protect Their Rhinos

May 31, 2017 | 1 Comment » | Topics: TRUTH

If humans fail to change their ways and adopt more sustainable habits, incredible species will go extinct. In fact, the African Elephant isn’t expected to outlast the next decade due to increased poaching activity. It’s because of this sobering reality and the increasing demand for ivory that a national park in India is shooting first and asking questions later.

The BBC reports that Kaziranga National Park has a pretty successful track record when it comes to protecting rhinoceroses from poachers. However, a controversial tactic is utilized by park rangers: shooting on sight. So far, the park has killed 50 people.

Reportedly, every individual that was killed was after rhino horn. The horn of a rhino can be sold for as much as $6,000 for 100g and because of this, is considerably more expensive than gold. The fabled ‘magical properties’ of it, however, are largely exaggerated. People in many countries, especially in the East, believe a rhino horn can cure various ailments — including cancer — and that it works as an aphrodisiac. It is of course a myth. The horn is composed primarily of keratin, the main component of hair, nails and hoofs.

When the park was first founded approximately a century ago, only a handful of Indian one-horned rhinoceros were protected. Now, the park hosts more than 2,400, which is two-thirds of the world’s population.

While animal rights activists might consider that something to celebrate, not everyone is too keen on the number of mounting bodies – locals, especially. It’s true that all who were killed were poachers, but some locals (primarily tribal) have been injured. In one instance, a disabled boy herding cows was shot.

Regardless, the guards are trained to shoot and kill anyone who might be attempting to kill an Indian rhino for its horn. Avdesh, who works as a ranger, told The BBC:

“The instruction is whenever you see the poachers or hunters, we should start our guns and hunt them.”

“Fully ordered to shoot them. Whenever you see the poachers or any people during night-time we are ordered to shoot them,” he added.

Avdesh has never killed anybody in his four years patrolling but knows there will be few if any consequences if he did.

In 2015 more than 20 poachers were killed—more than the number of rhinos poached that year. There’s no arguing that this method of protecting the rhinos is effective, but is it going too far to preserve an endangered species? 

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  • John Monitor

    Nope, its not going too far at all. There are billions of humans, and only a handful of Rhinos, Elephants, etc. I’d rather lose a few hundred humans who are driving animals to extinction for their own greed, than the animals themselves.