Hwange national park in Zimbabwe is back in the news today as 26 African elephants were found poisoned to death on its grounds.
The animals were intentionally poisoned for the purpose of ivory harvesting.
The African elephant is in danger of going extinct within the next decade due to the skyrocketing amount of poachers and the increasingly lax security on wildlife reserves.
The Guardian reports that, Caroline Washaya Moyo, a park spokeswoman said 14 tusks were recovered from the elephants, however; the rest were missing. Rangers found 16 elephants in the Lupande area of the park and 10 others near Chakabvi.
Upon investigation, rangers recovered over two pounds of Cyanide, a deadly poison that can kill just about anything. The poor animals are apart of a reserve, but that can't stop some poachers who will go great lengths to kill them off for profit.
Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe’s water, climate and environment minister blamed the United States for the surge in poaching.
“All this poaching is because of American policies. They are banning sport hunting. An elephant would cost $120,000 in sport hunting but a tourist pays only $10 to view the same elephant,”
This isn't the first time that Zimbabwe has passed the blame to the U.S. And the whole Cecil the Lion debacle didn't help our case either.
The bottom line is that these animals are valuable to people. Ivory is still used to make lots of things that hold a high value, and there's no stopping greed.
Local game reserves make a killing off of Western tourists coming in to hunt for sport. Until westerners including those United States and Europe stop hunting big game for "fun", the cycle of madness won't end.