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Poaching: A Rising Problem that Needs a Solution

This essay is written as a message to urge for more strict laws when it comes to poaching, which is killing many animals and endangered species every day.

November 6th, 2016

Dear Future President,

I am a freshman in high school from texas and I am writing this letter to urge you to put an end to the killing of animals, or poaching. This is a growing problem in the United States and around the world and we need to help end this murdering of wildlife. Poaching, or the act of illegally killing animals, is wrong because you are putting the end to an innocent animal’s life for the pure reason to profit as well as these animal species that are already endangered are eventually going to go extinct.

The government has installed laws to prevent poaching because animal parts are worth a lot of money on the black market. For example, a rhino’s horn is worth around a million if not more dollars, according to the Washington Times, who stated that rhino horn is now more valuable than gold and diamonds. Just last year in the country of Africa, more than one thousand two hundred rhinos were poached in South Africa. These rhinos are only being killed and sold for their expensive horns. In fact, according to NBC News, the black market for animal parts is valued at around eight to ten billion dollars. Even after these shocking statistics, some might say that not all animals are being killed for illicit activity, but however, they are being used for medical purposes among other reasons. However, the disturbing numbers of animals being killed for non-medical reasons outweigh the argument that poaching animals are allowed so the products can be used to heal people.

In addition to the illegal activity behind poaching, as a result of people’s harmful actions, endangered species are going extinct. According to National Geographic, “ Rhinoceros populations in both Africa and Asia have suffered for decades due to poaching” In fact, the northern white rhino- a species of rhino- is almost extinct, with only three living animals left- all of which are too old to breed. Yet magazines such as Conservation Weekly claim that killing animals may actually help conserve them. Trophy hunting, the murdering of animals, brings in money that charities can use to preserve species, but while their point is valid on the surface, it doesn’t outweigh that the Earth is still losing animals.

Poaching needs to be put to an end because of the animals going extinct and the black market of illegal animal parts that is present due to poaching. The relevance of this issue needs to be brought to life because if poaching continues, not only will our prosperity not be able to see animals at zoos such as tigers, but looking at the bigger picture, ecosystems may not be able to cope with the loss of a key species needed for the ecosystem to be sustained. So, the question arises: how could we solve this growing problem in a rational way? Well, I conducted an interview with New York bestselling middle-grade author Stuart Gibbs, who has done research and written a series on the subject. Gibbs stated that based on his research “The best solution would be to educate consumers of the illegal animal product. For example, many Chinese who buy elephant tusks assume that they fall out like teeth, instead of the fact that elephants are being killed for them. Once they learned the truth, they didn’t want the product anymore” In short, Gibbs suggested that education would lead to a drop in demand, which would lead to a lack of need for poaching. I agree with this proposed solution, because it is easy to install, yet efficient in convincing consumers of illegal animal parts to stop purchasing them.

Central High School

English I Pre-AP

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