Kenya has made an announcement that has hunters shaking in their boots. Because the African country values its amazing animals like lions, elephants, cheetahs, and rhinoceroses, it has made the decision to institute the death penalty for anyone who kills these beautiful creatures illegally. Although the country has instituted a stiff penalty of life in prison or a $200,000 fine depending on the poacher’s actions, officials don’t believe this has been effective enough and plan to use capital punishment to drive the point home that these animals are protected truly.
Because machismo hunters have traveled to Kenya for years to kill their beautiful animals and boost their fragile egos, the country put the Wildlife Conservation Act in place to help protect the beautiful creatures as recently as 2013. But despite the already stiff penalties, poachers are still killing animals and harvesting their body parts. The most at-risk group of animals are the rhinos and elephants because poachers still want their ivory.
Now cabinet secretary Najib Balala of the Ministry of Tourism has a better plan. He wants the government to use its death penalty to stop poaching once and for all.
Balala said that although the large fine and life sentence worked for some, “This has not been deterrence enough to curb poaching.”
That’s why he supports the much harsher sentence that poachers will now face. The death penalty will be punishment used for poachers going forward. It may seem harsh and cruel, but the country really wants to protect its beautiful creatures from the bullets of these illegal killers.
Many people in the country support the change in law because they want to protect the animals. Poachers are considered among the lowest of the low when it comes to criminals because they slink around at night killing the country’s most valuable creatures.
However, poachers may be willing to risk their lives because China and a few other countries have such a high demand for it. Although the country enacted a ban on the precious resource back at the start of January 2018, the black market continues to thrive with the stuff.
Chinese medicine also uses rhino horns as part of their folk medicine. However, these precious items are made of nothing more than the same material as our fingernails.
In Kenya, large crime syndicates conduct most of the poaching. They “use high-powered technology and weaponry to track and kill many animals at once without being detected.”
Poachers use high-powered weapons, grenade launchers, GPS trackers, and night vision goggles to kill these precious creatures. They’re not looking for a fair fight.
Kenyan Rangers are upgrading their equipment, which makes it easier for them to catch these poachers.
“In the past, we would never have found these people,” Brian Heath, a conservationist who runs conservation group the Mara Conservancy, told Wired. “Now the poachers are saying it’s just not worth going out because the chance of getting caught is getting higher and higher. It has been a big deterrent.”
Do you support the death penalty for poachers?