Two Poachers Arrested for Slaughtering an Antelope at Yankari Game Reserve
Yesterday, rangers at the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State arrested two poachers for slaughtering an adult female antelope.
According to the official Facebook page of the park, one of the men is notorious for hunting down elephants for their tusks and had been jailed for six months for same crime. However, when he was released, he immediately returned to the same profession of killing the wide range of animals at the largest park in Nigeria.
And this brings to mind the question; what’s the national wildlife preservation mentality like? The reserve was created in 1956 and commissioned into a park in 1991. But ever since the Bauchi State Government took over the management of the park, it has been be under-funded and neglected, WCS Nigeria reports.
As noted by the rangers who shared the story of the poachers’ arrest, there has been an increase in poaching, and the sentences handed down to the criminals do not help; it currently is a 6 months jail term, hence why many return to the crime after being released.
Here’s what WCS Nigeria said:
“Levels of poaching have increased, with emboldened poachers operating even near the tourist camp situated in the centre of the reserve. Unconfirmed reports suggest that large numbers of elephants have been killed in recent years to supply Nigeria’s illegal trade in ivory. In addition, conflict between elephants and local communities living near the boundaries of the reserve as a result of crop damage has reduced levels of community support for the game reserve and encourages local communities to support elephant poachers from outside the region. Poaching of other large mammals to supply the lucrative bushmeat trade also threatens to undermine the ecotourism potential of Yankari by further reducing opportunities for game-viewing by tourists.”
The State Government is yet to react to the latest update.
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