Cecil was such an icon that its robbed life made the whole of Zimbabwe roar. Am not talking of a human being here but an animal, a lion for that matter. It attracted tourists, made tourists come all the way just to see the king of the jungle as fairy tales call them. With Cecil gone, their major tourist attraction, only poachers can be blamed for making wildlife become endangered.
Wildlife contributes to the economic growth of nations by attracting tourists who in turn earn us foreign exchange used for development and the cycle continues. That is why most of the summer holidays are all about touring nations to see giraffes, elephants, lions, rhinos, gazelles and many more.
The big five however continue to be hunted for instance the jumbos due to their tasks. How they are seized on their way to whichever country for that trade, clearly shows that protecting our wildlife is key. What happens if these animals become endangered leading to their extinction?
- The tourism industry flops as visitors cannot just view historic sites and beaches alone. A tour travel in a park makes it more exciting.
- Unemployment rates go higher as wardens and rangers have no elephants or lions to look after thus risking their sources of income.
- Slow development. When nations know that they attract tourists the infrastructure, economy, transport channels are always in check. However, when we no longer attracting them the development slowly slows down.
- The ecosystem becomes imbalanced. Simply because the interaction between living and non-living components lowers as each has a part to play.
- A troubled generation where my children see these animals in journals and national geographic shows and wonder why they never exist asking all questions that might lack answers. It will be more helpful if they see them face-face so please poachers spare us the pain!
How can we prevent our dear animals from going into extinction? My views;
- Creating awareness and sensitizing nations on the importance of wildlife.
- Fencing parks to avoid entry and exit of poachers. Poor boarders also facilitate animals going into people’s farms destroying crops and killing their livestock making the vulnerable for poaching.
- Many parks are situated within community’s lands. Community mobilization where the communities work together with the wildlife services can help put to shame poachers.
- Stripping off licenses of notorious hunters. I fathom the killer of Cecil was a licensed hunter who had been accused on several accounts on his hunting. The likes of him once found in an offense should not be allowed to have a hunting license.
- Implementing clear laws and policies on poaching of wildlife and not allowing hunters walk free. Justice for the animals too!
- Bar of animal related trades. The tusks for instance are used to make ornaments and other variables. In some countries one is not allowed to bring along products made from animals like skins, horns and that saves them.
Am really feeling the animals…stop poaching. The same way that historic site is never grabbed or demolished to cater for other buildings, let us leave the animals alone too. Protect them with all the vim and vigor.
PS: The wildebeest migration is happening now in my motherland Kenya. This is a wonder of the world where wildebeests migrate from Serengeti national park in Tanzania, swim across a crocodile invaded river and cross over to the Masai Mara national park in search of food and water; occurs every year from July-October. Catch all the glimpse right here in Kenya this holiday. Tembea Kenya.