This is a guest column submitted through a project at Kumpf Middle School.

According to Google’s dictionary, the definition of poaching is “the illegal hunting or capturing of animals.” Imagine you are a rhino, roaming the African savannah when suddenly you’re surrounded on all sides by a strange kind of animal with some type of weapon in their hands, and then everything goes black. Poaching is real, and we need to take a part in stopping it.  To prevent this horrific act from happening, I am here to inform you about the problems of poaching and some solutions.

You might not know much about poaching, but during my research I concluded that poaching could be a danger to humans as well as other species. Some information I found in the article “Poaching Animals, explained” by Jani Actman stated that the environment and local economy will suffer if we lose these animals. This evidence shows that even humans can suffer from poaching as well as animal species. Jani also stated that illegally hunting animals from the wild is threatening many species with extinction. Wild animals are being poached on a massive scale, with millions of species worldwide being killed or captured from their native habitat. For example, this illegal hunting has a huge impact on rhinos, because they are hunted for their ivory horns. People also hunt the rhinos because they believe that their horns contain important ingredients for medicines. Now, there are only two white rhinos left in the world. Thus, as a result of poaching, the rhino population has been nearly decimated.  Poaching is a danger to animal populations. Therefore, poaching is a problem of mammoth proportions and must be stopped.

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Here are the solutions that could stop poaching. Jani’s article also included that there are nonprofit organizations that work to end wildlife poaching. One of the things that these groups do is find alternative, and more sustainable ways to make a living. As listed on the website, One Green Planet, Kate Good listed ten ways that YOU can help the poaching problem. One example states, “Petition the president of Kenya to declare poaching a National Disaster.” Another is, “Join the African Wildlife Foundation’s three pronged plan to restore the natural habitats, educate local communities, and conserve wildlife.” This is also a magnificent solution because it is providing an idea of what citizens that don’t live in poaching communities could do to prevent illegal hunting. Please take a part and help these suffering species!

By listing the problems and solutions of poaching, from the the two websites, it should be clear that poaching is a big issue that should be stopped. Now that you have been informed of some of the solutions to poaching like joining groups, or signing petitions, YOU can make a huge difference in wildlife. I hope the next time any of you hear the word “poaching” I hope you will take a stand and STOP POACHING!

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