Freddie or Hannibal ain’t got nothing on this one, this is true Horror:
In Zimbawe’s Hwange national Park, already infamous for the killing of the lion Cecil by (this may hurt a little) a dentist, poachers have killed off some 60 elephants to date by poisoning their drinking water with cyanide. A quick death, but an excruciatingly painful one.
As is their custom, the poachers took the tusks, sometimes head and all, and left the remains to rot and poison the scavengers who come to feed on them. (The African Vulture is on its way to extinction too, by the way.) A host of other animals that come to the same pools are likewise bound to die in agony. How long again before cyanide loses its potency?
These people – if indeed they are in any way human – are enticed to sink to such horrendous deeds by the enormous prices the tusks fetch in certain countries in the Far East, as do horns of the rhinoceros, certain parts of big cats (also in Minnesota) and pieces and parts of numerous other animals, all or not endangered. Over there, these parts are believed to bestow health, power and virility. (Also in Minnesota.)
The Zimbabwean government, headed by Robert Mugabe, who, incidentally, just received the Chinese counterpart of the Nobel Prize for Peace, is unable, for one reason or another, to do much about this abomination; similarly, the World Wildlife Fund is all but powerless against the tactics and resources of the poachers.
What can possibly be done to prevent this from ever happening again?
The best way would be to combat it at the source by somehow convincing the people searching these treatments that it is all superstition, bullhockey and poppycock. This is not likely to happen, however, since nobody seems to know exactly who they are, although there must be quite a lot of them and they must be loaded. Also, these beliefs go back some thousands of years, so the root goes deep.
Alternatively, the Zimbabwean government could be aided in expanding their surveillance capabilites by donation of a large amount of drones with related technology. The Zimbabwean government would doubtlessly love this, although perhaps not for the stated reason. This might be unwise from a political point of view, therefore.
Lastly, there is always Wait and See. Let’s wait and see what these folks are going to do about their virility when the last elephant and the last rhinoceros lie rotting on the African plains, while in the jungles of Southeast Asia the last tiger gives its last roar.