Shoot to kill?

Since 2007, rhino poaching has intensified and poaching gangs have become more sophisticated in their operations – and the weapons they use. In response, rhino conservationists have invested in improving security, training and anti-poaching equipment – including firearms – for rangers on the ground. Often dubbed an “arms race”, the perceived “militarisation of conservation” has attracted support from many, but also caused concern. In the pursuit of protecting rhinos, are human rights are being compromised? Could communities sharing rhino habitat become, quite literally, caught in the cross-fire?

Shoot to kill is one of the most controversial issues facing rhino conservation

Save the Rhino’s position, and the policy adopted by the programmes to which we make grants, is that shoot-to-kill should only be used as a last alternative and in self-defence. Anti-poaching rangers must do all they can to avoid killing a poacher. In the event of contact made between a ranger and a poacher, it would be much more beneficial if the poacher were to be caught and arrested, giving the opportunity to recover valuable information about who has commissioned them, the supply chain and likely smuggling routes. If poachers refuses to throw down their weapons but raise them against rangers, then rangers may fire. Sadly, there will always be the chance that lives may be lost in this exchange.

The militarisation of conservation

Many anti-poaching and monitoring staff protecting rhinos are armed, but a surprising number lack even basic, good quality equipment like good boots or overnight tents, let alone top-range weapons. Rangers working in national parks or game reserves are usually licensed to carry and use weapons, while those protecting rhinos and other wildlife in conservancies (private or community-owned) are often not. Even then, there can be a huge disparity between the training and provisions for rangers in one country to the next, or even between one nation’s wildlife areas. It’s a tough ask to face a poaching gang if all you are carrying is a torch, a phone and a GPS. As the poaching threat has increased, some rhino owners are applying for Police Reservist status, which would allow named individuals to bear arms; others have come to arrangements with local police forces or the relevant government department to carry out joint patrols.

In Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam, India, Forest Guards (the equivalent of rangers) were given the right to use firearms in July 2010 and protected under section 197 of the CrPC, which provides them conditional immunity from court proceedings if they are to kill or injure somebody in the line of duty. The issue of indemnity for armed wildlife guards is an important one, as rangers can risk being caught up in lengthy court cases and even prison, while acting in the line of duty. A contact between armed poachers, who resisted arrest, and rangers in uMkhuze Game Reserve on Christmas Day 2014 led to three rangers being arrested and imprisoned until they were let out on bail several days later.

The case of Kaziranga

Kaziranga is home to around two thirds of Asia’s population of Greater one-horned rhinos. The species has made a remarkable come-back from an all-time population low of just 200 animals and now numbers over 3,000 individuals. As a result, the Park is viewed as one of rhino conservation’s biggest success stories. One factor in this success is the commitment shown by the Indian government in protecting the largescale ecosystem – including expanding rhino habitat and securing the Park’s borders. This means that entering the Park without prior permission is illegal for communities living nearby. And as the Park has expanded, entire villages have been relocated, including by force, when the scheme was met with resistance.

But the Assam Government’s hard-line policy has caused concern amongst conservation organisations, the general public and other NGOs. In particular, the lobbying group Survival International, has been particularly vocal in its campaign to encourage the Indian government to rethink its stance. In the recent past, the Assam Government’s position also caused the BBC to cancel donations to conservation work in Kaziranga via its now-defunct Wildlife Fund, for fear of a public outcry.

Greater one horned rhino -Credit SRITensions reached a head in July 2015, when seven year old Akash Orang, living in a village near the Park, was shot in the leg by rangers; causing a life-altering injury. The incident occurred while rangers were trying to move a rhino which had strayed out of the Park away from a village. Soon after, the BBC visited the Park to film a short news feature on the case which generated headlines, controversially describing Kaziranga as “the park that shoots people to protect rhinos”. Another case investigated by the BBC’s team was the death of Gaonburah Kealing, a man whose family said he had learning difficulties. Goanburah was understood to have strayed into the Park accidentally, and was subsequently shot. The Park authorities said he failed to respond to a warning.

Allegations of torture of suspects arrested by the Park’s rangers, and corruption by rangers involved in poaching themselves, have also continued to surface and provided much of the focus in the BBC investigation. The Indian government responded by banning the BBC from filming in any of its tiger reserves for five years, claiming that the BBC had not fully briefed them about the content of the film, and accused the journalists of biased reporting.

Events in Kaziranga attracted a lot of publicity and ignited fierce debate. Had conservationists gone too far and tacitly supported indiscriminate attacks? Clearly, in both cases outlined above, rangers made tragic mistakes and the Park should take steps to ensure it never happens again. It goes without saying that any claims of torture, corruption, and other illegal activities should be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators held to account. The Indian government’s offer of rewards for injured poachers is also highly controversial. However, in the media storm which ensued, certain factors have been less well interrogated.

Community conservation

Families like Goanburah Keeling’s, living near protected wildlife areas in India and other countries, may have genuine and very understandable concerns about their rights to land. They may feel that they are not responsible for poaching, the global illegal wildlife trade, and the consumer demand which drives it. But it is also untrue to claim that every villager living near Kaziranga National Park, or any other wildlife haven, lives in isolation from the destructive forces driving poaching.

CommunityEducation c SRIKaziranga’s rangers are operating near heavily armed militia and political groups, poaching syndicates and agricultural villages – sections of society which can, and do, overlap. The government, and other actors, may scapegoat different groups for partisan reasons, all the while making the picture even murkier. As this one example in India shows, broad-brush descriptions that pit villagers against rangers can risk over-simplifying a complex political backdrop, and in turn fail to truly illustrate the daily dangers faced by rangers protecting rhinos.

However, we can be emphatic in saying that conservation needs community support. Creating a consensus on the value of protecting rhinos in the wild is vital if people living near wildlife are to feel invested in the future of endangered species. Nepal has shown leadership in rhino conservation and community support. To date, the country has almost entirely stamped out rhino poaching with just one incident in three years. Across Asia and Africa, here are examples of practical ways we at Save the Rhino are make sure that protecting wildlife also benefits people, too.

Ranger fatalities

Protecting rhinos endangers lives – and many of these lives belong to rangers patrolling on the frontline. According to the International Ranger Federation, at least 1,000 rangers have died in the line of duty in a decade, with many more unreported casualties. In 2015 alone, 42% of ranger deaths were due to attacks by poachers, compared to the 17% killed by wild animals. In Asia, the vast majority of wildlife ranger fatalities occur in India. This stark figure doesn’t include the scores of rangers living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health conditions, as well routine physical scars.

Big Life Foundation and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers work together to protect the areas wildlife

Whether a ranger is a government employee, recruited by a wildlife conservancy or working for a private land owner, their job is still hugely dangerous. Often, rangers are recruited from communities living on the boundaries of protected habitats. Another line of work open to them could have been poaching – and they will often face pressure and intimidation from poaching gangs to reveal information. Many rangers, despite being government employees, are not covered by long-term health, disability or life insurance. When a ranger is killed or seriously injured, their family is often left without a breadwinner. But regardless of these dangers, perhaps the most fundamental question to ask is whether shoot-to-kill is ethically justified?

The ethics of killing

At Save the Rhino, we don’t feel qualified to debate the morality of taking a human life. We’re not a lobbying organisation, and we have no influence or control over how governments chose to impose their laws. But we don’t believe that injuring or killing poachers is something to be taken lightly.

Worryingly, as poaching has escalated, so too have the unpalatable suggestions we receive on social media, via our website, or even in emails to our staff, about how to tackle poaching. Some comments are particularly graphic and call for sickening “eye for an eye” style punishments. Are people venting their anger and anonymously sharing views in cyber space that they don’t really mean? Or have people’s attitudes hardened as the poaching crisis has deepened?

A poacher is apprehended with confiscated ivoryThe highly organised nature of poaching syndicates means that the poacher ‘on the ground’ is doing the dirty work, but somewhere much higher up the chain is a criminal gang-leader who is, very literally, calling the shots.

Killing a poacher will achieve very little in terms of reducing the number of poaching incidents; at best it can only provide a temporary deterrent, or move gangs onto targets perceived as softer. Syndicates can easily find another person willing to take the risk and shoot a rhino.

In South Africa’s Kruger National Park, by 2013 as many as 80% of poaching incidents were attributed to poachers crossing the porous border from Mozambique. Julian Rademeyer writes about the “poaching villages” that have cropped up around the region where “there is deep-seated anger at the deaths and arrests of suspected poachers.” The father of one dead poacher he meets asks, “Why was an animal’s life worth more than my son’s?” In such a poor area, poaching can seem an attractive means by which to put food on the table.

Convicting poachers

Perhaps a more important question to ask is why we hear so much about poacher deaths, and not enough about prosecutions? In South Africa, a total of 680 alleged poachers and traffickers were arrested for rhino-related poaching offences in 2016, more than double the year before. But of these how many will actually end up being sentenced?

The disparity between sentencing in different countries is great. The law in many countries does not assign long prison sentences to wildlife crime. Botswana’s environment minister, Tshekedi Khama, said in a 2013 interview that would-be poachers needed to know that they might not go home alive, and would be shot even if they surrendered. In Zambia, possession of rhino horn or a conviction of poaching can receive a sentence of 20 years. In Zimbabwe, a men was jailed for eight years for attempting to sell a fake rhino horn. And until Kenya’s wildlife laws were updated recently, penalties for poaching were simply fines that had not risen in to keep pace with the rewards on offer for rhino horn or elephant ivory.

Credit Save the Rhino TrustEven where tough laws do exist, for a criminal case, it can be difficult to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that a poacher is guilty. To do so requires DNA analysis linking the rhino carcass, the horn and the poacher. Too often, the expertise or evidence is not available for this type of sophisticated analysis. Even in South Africa, where this facility is available, many poachers are currently awaiting trial dates, and appeals have been sent out for more evidence from the public to complete these prosecutions. If a poacher is apprehended before an attack – the ideal scenario, as it means that no rhino was killed – then the charges available to prosecutors are for less serious crimes, such as possession of an unlicensed weapon or armed trespass.

There is general frustration about the prosecution of rhino poachers. It is important to build the political will to ensure that prison sentences are given. Time and time again, poachers are awarded bail and abscond, or are acquitted at trial. If this is the case, then legal measures to crack down on poaching are not working. Poachers who do not receive a prison sentence are free to return to national parks and poach more rhino. In Namibia, the government is exploring the option of forcibly deporting any foreign national arrested for wildlife crimes, in an effort to prevent repeat offences.

As always, shoot-to-kill is not a one-size-fits-all solution to the poaching crisis, even if the concerns about such a policy can be overcome. If poachers keep coming, rangers need to have the training and resources to make arrests, secure the crime scene, and feel confident that the laws are in place to convict the kingpins running the illicit trade.

In parallel, if we can secure rhino habitat and continue to challenge consumer’s motivations for buying horn in the first place, we stand the best chance possible of turning back the tide on rhino poaching. For more information on our work with rangers, visit here.


Grasslands of Grey are two very well-researched essays on the challenges and successes of conservation in Kaziranga National Park, which take a balanced view on the BBC’s research and the Indian government’s policies:

Julian Rademeyer’s Tipping Point examines who is driving the illegal rhino horn trade, taking a look at who is poaching, and how well African states are responding to this threat.

Photo credits: Tony Fitzjohn, Steve Robbins, Save the Rhino Trust, Big Life Foundation,

(245) Comments

  • bobb langland
    15 December 2012, 06:02

    The time has come to extend extraordinary measures to ensure that our animal population is allowed to exist in the manner in which they were intended before man came along and ruthlessly exploited them. I wholeheartedly agree with predjudicial actions against any person or entity that would strive to profit from the further depletion of our declining animal population. I also include property developers that love to develop properties to allow people to "commune" with nature, and then when these people actually meet the animals that inhabit these areas, find that they are "dangerous", and want them eliminated so that they feel "safe".

  • Anonymous commenter
    06 February 2013, 21:52

    The only good poacher is a dead one. Better still, start with the scumbags who like their ivory and rhino horn trinkets.

  • Anonymous commenter
    13 February 2013, 07:33

    death sentance must come back for poachers

  • Anonymous commenter
    16 February 2013, 21:33

    If something isn't done then Rhinos will become extinct. Then what will the Chinese do? Poachers should be shot..simple as that or do we just accept almost 600 rhinos killed in 2012 acceptable.

    Death to all poachers.

  • Edgar Friendly
    04 March 2013, 22:42

    Poachers should be flayed alive and then shot. I would volenteer to do this for free.
    They are the scum of the earth. I am ashamed to belong to the same species as these c***ts.

  • Anonymous commenter
    11 March 2013, 22:59

    I support killing the poachers. These brave people who risk their lives to kill these poachers are god in my eyes.

  • gini
    14 March 2013, 20:36

    What is the BEST thing we can do for the Rhino ? IMO,
    Get to the TOP of this criminal Gang ! That is how to put an end to this for good! We have to eliminate the demand -
    Those at the top of this horrific crime care about MONEY , they do NOT care about the poachers, and they have other poachers ready to poach if we kill them off !
    Sometimes it is not possible, but when a poacher Can be caught, get him to Talk , get the info on these Gangs calling the shots THEN give the poacher the death penalty! YES, they deserve the death penalty,
    -otherwise, more poachers will be sent out , like said in the article above.
    Of course these poachers deserve to die, but SO do ALL those in the Criminal gang behind the scenes!
    First, FORCE Them to speak out ALL they know! then fry them!

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 March 2013, 01:21

    Shoot every one if those bastards who kill and buy ivory.

  • Anonymous commenter
    21 March 2013, 14:25

    I support the immediate execution of both rhinoceros and elephant poachers. It may not be the most effective method of combating criminal ivory trading syndicates. It is, however, a punishment fitting for any human being who commits the heinous act of murdering a sentient, loving animal. When the killing is followed by the act of ivory removal, a bestial, desecrating process, it only further solidifies in my mind that these people lack the respect for any form of life, to deserve life for themselves.

  • Anonymous commenter
    22 March 2013, 04:30

    After watching Battleground: Rhino Wars on Animal Planet, I was curious to the punishment received when caught poaching. It is horrible to see most get let go with a slap on the wrist and return to poach again. If they are caught poaching they should be shot, period! What makes humans so fricking important compared to other living things. The human race is the biggest parasite ever to live on earth.There are too many idiots in this world. If everyone had the opinion of most posters commenting here, the world would be a much better place. Too bad animals can't poach stupid humans.

  • John
    24 March 2013, 20:38

    Hunting Rhinos, Tigers dolphins whales and any other animals who abide by mother nature and do not stamp their injustice upon the earth should carry the death sentence. When I look into my animals eyes I see an honesty and trust you will never experience from a human. I am sickened to be a human being and would gladly permanently remove all poachers from the planet which I am perfectly equipped to do with or without weapons. We are the single most unpleasant parasite on this planet, make no mistake I would kill you all to save one tiger.

  • Anonymous commenter
    05 April 2013, 02:00

    Why on Earth would ANYONE NOT SUPPORT the killing of poachers by these poacher-hunters? Why would anyone CRY over it???

  • MIke
    11 April 2013, 19:02

    If sentencing poachers is so difficult surely shoot to kill is the best option? The ultimate sacrifice may be the best deterrent.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 April 2013, 18:00

    The charge is genocide, and the penalty.... you know what it is

    Shame on all corrupted judges and officials they should also be punished

  • Greg
    16 April 2013, 12:27

    Poachers deserve to die, there's no two ways about it, shoot them on the spot, saves the long drawn out court cases that fail to deliver justice.

  • Anonymous commenter
    25 April 2013, 12:35

    I'm doing a project on anti poaching efforts and I have to say I would rather die than be forced to poach, even with all the monney they get out of it!

  • Anonymous commenter
    30 April 2013, 11:38

    Poachers from Mocambique , Zimbabwe and any one of these countries that send poachers to our parks , should be tortured to the extreme them Cut Off their Genitals send one in 5 back to spread the word then shoot all poachers like Rabid Dogs they are , let South Africa be the worst place in the Continent to Poach anything Get the message out pay bonusses to the rangers for every dead Poacher. I will hunt then down for Free and so Should every citizen shoot the bastardos on site on every farm that protects Rhinos and Wild life with full backing of our legal System and every South African should be out to protect our precious endangered Species . Good Citizen

  • Anonymous commenter
    02 May 2013, 04:38

    Are they hiring? I won't even hit a guy if I can avoid it, but I'd kill poachers for subsistence wages.

  • Nicholas Graham
    09 May 2013, 19:04

    I, too, am wondering if any of these wild life ranger positions are available? I'd volunteer to shoot poachers and take down these criminal enterprises pillaging our world. Sounds right up my alley!

  • RJC
    10 May 2013, 16:12

    I for one, volunteer to track down, bind and return the poachers to a tribunal for the purpose of information extraction. I would then be happy to execute the poacher. A sure way to stop the poaching is to target the poachers assets and if need be, family members. If we are to save the animals, we must be willing to do whatever is required.
    1. Establish a task force of ex-special forces who are willing to track and kill poachers. Arm them and supply them as required.
    2. Pay the task force members for their services based upon a head count.
    3. Use the media to inform poachers what their fate will be at the hands of the special ops task force.
    4. Watch the rhino, elephant and tiger population rebound
    It is that easy. Anything less will only forestall the inevitable end of the animals.

  • Larni
    16 May 2013, 01:31

    RJC.....You must've read my post earlier this year.....I'm with anyone who believes in the most vicious and extreme measures to get the rot out of the communities that harbour, fail to report and simply ignore poachers in thei midst....catch the poachers, take them "home" kick everbody's arse, kill the shit and the keep doing it!!! Forget the top dogs in the syndicates....we'll never get there, just keep cutting them off at the knees, over and over and over.........

  • Anonymous commenter
    16 May 2013, 02:35

    Those heartless poachers do indeed deserve to be executed. Elephant and rhino populations deserve to be abundant along with all the other animal species that are endangered. Poachers are an abominable species of human beings that should become extinct! I think any animal lover would agree that poachers are unwanted piles of cancer and they do indeed need to be wiped out. So that endangered animals can once again repopulate and live in their deserved harmony.

  • Anonymous commenter
    21 May 2013, 19:24

    Yes!! I send hundreds of monies every year to WWF, AWF and STE... they're great at cataloging the deaths of Elephants and Rhinos. They meet with CITES and other organizations to no avail. They're well intended but unfortunately, ineffective do-gooders. They hope to "re-educate" the Chinese... I wish they were more effective. We don't need studying & re-education-- we need dead poachers! Where can I send my money to the anti-poaching mercenaries?

  • Anonymous commenter
    23 May 2013, 03:37

    Of course it's right to shoot to kill. There are billions of humans on this planet, but less than 17,000 white rhinos left, and 3,000 black rhinos (these are the 2 African species.) What does it matter if a few more humans fall to a gun if they were doing wrong? I'm sorry, but the rhinos have to take priority in this instance. That being said, guards should not shoot to kill without reason, but in general, humanity has had its era of selfishness and domination. Now, as we realize just what harm we have inflicted upon the world, we absolutely need to do all we can to restore order, even if that means killing our own in the process.

  • J. P. Quarles
    24 May 2013, 04:13

    Yes, kill all the bastards who poach. But FIRST get the name(s) of the scum bags who sent 'em. And, too, I think it would be wise to get the Chinese OUT OF AFRICA because the ONLY reason they're there is to exploit the natural resources, including rhino and other species and to mine the earth until she has nothing left to mine. The "help" they give Africans is minimal compared the devastation they are leaving behind. Trade agreements between Africans & Chinese? I think not.

  • Max
    28 May 2013, 13:11

    I have unfortunately READ all your ANGry COMMENTS concerning Poachers, GREAT!! So may someone please tell Me WHY are we all upset with RHINO POACHERS? these poachers live on $2 a day (as SAD as it is, i can understand their temptation where they have families to feed.) If a SNAKE BItes You on a repeditive basis Do you keep chopping off itsTAIL? of course not!! (becuase we all know as anyone whose familiar with Snakes knows he'll Grow another one) THE Snakes HEAD MUST TO BE REMOVED AT ALL COSTS your PROBLEM is NOW SOLVED! The CHInese, {not all} (and other Wealthy SCUM) ARISTOCRATS and Oligarchs will continue to FUND this UNGODLY practice for this so-called Herbal remedy they USE FOR HEALING AND CURES.Why dont we take the Inititive and start FUNDING the Practise or Harvestation of PANDA EARS or their Heads?( We the FEW, the Considerate.have an OBLIGATION to NATURE and our FUTURE OFFSPRING that will INHERIT this BEAUTIFUL PLANET with all it has to offer, TO PROTECT IT and all its SPECIES GREAT AND SMALL. ESPECIALLY the GReat RHino.beginning with GLOBAL MEDIA AWareness. (Sanctioning African Governments that accept Bribes,DEMONSTRATIONS at GREAT Portland street CHINA's EMBASSY LONDON on a Continuous basis. till they get the MESSAGE! ADdress HRH Prince Charles. as he is a DEVOUTt Supporter of Saving the Great RHINO. Organise a Global Covert Team with serving/civilian and retired members of the Military and Intelligence Communities. with a capable Etraction Team to enter any Country and remove those responsible for the atrocities and make them accountable.

  • E. Fourie
    29 May 2013, 10:54

    Referring to the comments under the heading "Shoot to Kill" and in particular I quote " If a poacher is apprehended before an attack......" I would mention that apart from "armed trespass" the poacher would more than likely be guilty of possession of an unlicensed firearm and, under the circumstances, be subjected to a healthy imprisonment sentence in terms of Act 75/1969.

  • sig
    14 June 2013, 03:05

    Poachers are very inhumane bloody no mercy animals killers. They surround the whole herd of elephants and start blasting them with shouts, joy and euphoria. Do you know how extreme psychological trauma is caused to a baby elephant/rhino to witnessed such tragedy (if they survived the massacre) against its mother / protector.
    Also, these poachers are well organised with international networking ring, not to mentioned their financial strength to corrupt officials or to better armed their honchos.
    God blessed human with intelligent and compassion so we can take care of these beautiful creatures of His creation on earth. If we allowed such extreme suffering and killing onto them, the sins is upon all of us for doing nothing while they bled, mutilated and suffered in such bloody horrors.
    Yes, for a developing country such as Africa (which some are still backwards), Shoot To Kill Policy is needed to mitigate these bunch of rogue bloody merchants for now. This may sound cruel, inhuman, no human rights, etc. but somewhere along the line, the poaching must be stop.
    The park rangers must be well equipped, trained, and serve with high professionalism. Their career in this path must be enforced with better welfare and salary scale based on their merit. Only the specially selected /recommended candidates will filtered strictly by the appointed house of selection committee.
    End of the day, sincere, honest and consistent political will among the noble lawmakers to end such crime will finally sealed the fate of the poachers. Act fast as the clock is ticking.

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 June 2013, 21:25

    Not only are Elephants, Rhinos and other Animals killed! So are the Rangers! They are the fighters! Trying their best to protect wildlife! In the last decade more than 100,000 Elephants gunned down, Rhinos have become extinct in some parts of Africa and 1000 Rangers killed!

    POACHERS get released if they are bailed wtf is that?! Shoot them! We should be able to raise funds for better equipement for the rangers!

    These poachers have night vision goggles, phones, Ak47s dropped down by helicopters and mostly kill an entire family of elephants from the sky!

    So angry! These poachers deserve to be shot, shot!

    Also don't forget Rangers are just as poor as the Poachers so it shows that it's a choice! It's about do you kill because it's easy or do you go against that and do what is right?!

    We all deserve to live peacefully and yes die when it's our time but not for greed! Pregnant mothers dying with their young! These animals can live up to 70 instead gunned around 15- 30! Total injustice!!!!

    We have to stand up for them!!! and sign the petition to stop all ivory at

  • anonymosly
    18 June 2013, 15:41

    have you people even seen the horrible traps that poachers put for the animals, giving them a painfull death. They should be shot and killed immideately, rather than letting the animals pay.

  • Pondo LukaBhejani
    26 June 2013, 08:46

    Why is Professional hunting of the Rhino allowed ? How is in the majority in the professional poaching trade ? Why kill a poacher and at the same time allow Rhino Professional Hunting. Poachers cruel kill rhinos and so does professional hunters. The Whiteman is a Professional Hunter and the Blackman a poacher. Does the professional poached (from the rhino) horn not sold to the same people who buy poached horns. Clear the fire and not the smoke or the rhino will be extinct.

  • Cathy Dean
    27 June 2013, 09:53

    Pondo, there are very major differences between legitimate trophy hunters (I am excluding pseudo hunters) and poachers. Here are the three most important ones:
    1. Poachers will shoot any rhino, even a pregnant female, which means that the 7 or 8 calves a cow whould normally bear in her lifetime will not be born, thus reducing future growth. Trophy hunters target only males, often post-reproductive or those that have killed other bulls by fighting
    2. Money from trophy hunting is reinvested in the game farm, which employs local staff etc. Money from poaching goes to criminal syndicates, which also frequently trade in drugs and arms, and has been used to fund terrorist activities.
    3. Trophy hunters hang their trophies on their walls; they don't illegally sell them to criminal syndicates.
    Finally, I don't agree with your distinction between white and black people's role in rhino poaching - or rhino conservation for that matter.

  • Pondo LukaBhenjani
    27 June 2013, 11:14

    Cathy dean thanks a lot for your very informative and objective statements. Are there mechanism in place to monitor Trophy Hunters that the horns are not sold to the illegal syndicates. The other problem is that Rhino Conservations is like an EXCLUSIVE CLUB for a certain race. The Campaign must be all inclusive. As long as we don't work as one race in this problem of Rhino Poaching will never stop. Dehorning also give suspicion the horns are sold illegal by farmers without Government knowledge. Shoot to kill the Poacher is not the solution. In the long run poachers will end up working hand in hand with farm guards and rangers as they are all from the disadvantaged population to poach. This is happening because rangers live in the same communities with poachers. There must be a clear Policy on how the Communities benefit from this Conservation from the farmers.

  • Cathy Dean
    28 June 2013, 10:52

    Pondo, thanks in turn for yours.
    The international movement of rhino horn (and other wildlife products from endangered species) is regulated by CITES - the Convention on the International Trade in Fauna and Flora. At present, all sales of modern (post 1947) rhino horn are illegal. Antique rhino horns (older than 1947) are subject to different laws, which vary from country to country: for example, the UK has banned all exports of rhino horn unless they are verified Chinese libation cups (18th or 19th century generally) that are going to known museums and galleries.
    You ask a good question, in that not all countries' CITES offices check that trophy mounts remain hanging on a trophy hunters' wall, and this is why South Africa changed its rules last year on allowing so-called hunters from Vietnamto come and hunt rhinos in South Africa.
    All of the field programmes we work with in Africa (and Asia) employ, train and build capacity for local people, many if not most of whom are black Kenyans / Zimbabweans / Namibians South Africans etc., though we have not conducted an ethnic origin profiling exercise so I can't give you exact details. We also support environmental education programmes in Mkomazi and Zambia, whose audiences are 100% black schoolchildren.
    I am therefore not comfortable with your contention that conservation is exclusive on the basis of race.
    Cathy Dean, Director, Save the Rhino International

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 July 2013, 13:34

    Kill all of those idiot poachers. Shoot to kill FTW... in this case.

    24 July 2013, 11:34

    Cathy l value your imense contribution is saving wildlife. You have however amongst your Safari collegues who are now pushing our communities to the limit with ths so called 'Shoot to kill".

    The send their recruit Ranger to our Communities enticing the unemployed youths to go to the Conservation Safaris and poach and in turn they waylay them and shoot them dead.

    The Spy Ranger will visit our Community and introduce himself as a Ranger who has knowledge of the patrolling routines in the Conservation and at the same time as having a prospective rhino horn Buyer. Unemployed youths are promised US$ windfall and poaching protection.

    The youths are given hunting firearms, routes to take and the actual time to go into the farm. The Rangers and their Managers will they lay an ambush and shoot the enticed poachers. At time the Spy Ranger uses mobile phones with the enticed poachers to led them into the trap.

    Cathy Dean as Director of Save the Rhino .... this is happening Tawla Conservation in Beit Bridge, Matabeleland South region in Zimbabwe.

    May you are a matter of urgency rein in your guys. Revenge killings are very imminent. This is satanic acts. If you post your email l will happily contact you

  • Ranger Dave
    10 August 2013, 00:04

    As an ex anti-poaching operative, I have seen a great deal. I have seen the bloody deaths of not only animals, but friends as well. The shoot to kill order is all very well, but pulling the trigger yourself in another. We always tried to take suspects alive and into custody, but it was not always as easy as it seemed. The "shoot to kill" mind set is all very well, but the poachers knowing that, might lead to less willingful surrenders. But i still believe ranger should have the option. I for one, have had enough of it though. There is no dignity in death, the loosening of a corpse's bowels and the regret that follows. I served my country's wildlife well, and I am proud. But I emplore the people commenting, think of the soldier on the ground fighting this silent war. To protect life is easy and noble, but to take it, even from an enemy stains your soul. Support these men, they give more than you will ever know. I salute the silent warriors in the background, fighting against a great evil. My heart travels with you.

  • Thabo Muroro
    12 August 2013, 18:21

    Pondo LukaBhenjani
    Pondo, it is because the majority of poachers think the way you think. Uneducated of the systems in place to "regulate" hunting under controlled conditions and to differentiate between legal and illegal hunting as per definition by LAW. Poachers apart from the fact that they claim they hunt because they are hungry, violate laws and regulating systems and mutilate in the most barbaric way their kill, just to leave the food behind. Nothing stands in any black mans way to complete a PH course and apply for a concession to hunt the specific quota of game determined by the government and I cant see why a white man will come off better being caught poaching than a black man. African countries is governed by black people and they make the laws now, mostly in favor of blacks. You are right, there is a massive difference between moral values between black and white, but you don't know it.
    Strangely, it is for some-one like yourself always a black white political outcome. Is it going to be any better if all whites are gone?

  • Anonymous commenter
    05 October 2013, 19:23

    I think that all the countries that have a poaching problem should try to come together and figure out a way to have laws that work for all of them, but still give a strong message to the poachers that if they hunt wild animals, then they will suffer the punishment, no matter what country they are in.
    They learn from each other of how strong or weak a countries laws are against poaching.
    I don't like poachers, but I wouldn't kill them, because if I did, I would be sinking down to their level. They may not be unarmed, but either way it's still murder. No matter what way you look at it.

  • Anonymous commenter
    08 October 2013, 23:06

    poachers need to be treated as felons and their lasts words heard should be....turn around, get on your knees and bow yer head.

  • Craig
    12 October 2013, 09:52

    It's a pity there aren't organised holidays where you go and hunt poachers.

  • Anonymous commenter
    14 October 2013, 20:31

    Do anti-poaching organizations have drones in the air? Thermal cameras? or any way new-age military technology at their disposal. If not, how can we get them the latest and greatest stuff to help them hunt these people down.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 October 2013, 16:33

    They don't deserve to live. It's not going to stop the demand but it could help discouraging people who are thinking of becoming poachers. The situation is so extreme that the measures need to be too. I don't care if they are uneducated and poor, I would starve myself to death rather than killing animals in danger of extinction.

  • Anonymous commenter
    23 October 2013, 09:28

    Cut the noses off all rhino poachers to show the world what they have done to the rhino

  • Anonymous commenter
    23 October 2013, 09:45

    I would like to be part of the team thats in the field putting there lives in danger to safe one of the Big 5 annimals of South Africa.... If anyone know how i can do what i whant to email me at

  • Anonymous commenter
    27 October 2013, 17:48

    kill poachers

  • Anonymous commenter
    29 October 2013, 03:13

    We must do some crownfunding to buy weapons against poachers.

  • brian groves
    05 November 2013, 12:40

    All poachers should be shot. if they know its wrong, they know its cruel, they know there is a death sentence..........would it stop them? from the evidence it doesnt seem likely, but that isnt my point. also, there has to be a proper jail sentence.not a slight fine and a smack on the wrist. in an ideal world poachers cut a rhimos horn off.....=.....poachers lose their arm sounds good to me. :) you will never stop poachers, the pay for a poacher is too good, the pay for a ranger isnt. is re educating the poachers to become rangers working? no! its all about money. so if its all about money, then we have to put all our efforts into making the elephants tusks and rhino horns worthless..........maybe a permanent staining dye? maybe de-horning? i dont know? maybe getting the u.n. to have a word with china and the rest of the idiots that still believe in the "magical" powers of rhino horn . we will still be having this conversation in 20 yrs i say, my view is get tough on the poachers and go up the chain of command.......and shoot the lot of them.

  • Anonymous commenter
    14 November 2013, 00:42

    Poachers are senseless, cruel bastards who kill everything they could get money for! They're greedy, senseless murderers, why should they be let to live from killing critically endangered species? They are depleting the population of good, kind creatures who are doing nothing to them! Rhino horns are not medicine retard poachers.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 November 2013, 05:03

    While all poachers must be shot (on site, summarily without any fanfare or debate), equally venomous are the Asians who fuel the demand because of their absurd superstitions.

    They need to start aggressively pursuing- and executing- the Chinamen who fund this nonsense. Will extreme measures stop poaching all together? Sadly, no. There's always someone dumb and/or reckless enough to risk their lives for money but making the profession incredibly dangerous with the worst possible consequences will do a lot to slow the unimpeded flow of poached ivory into the Orient that exists today. The solution to this problem is governments cracking down on buyers and sellers alike.

  • Justin
    26 November 2013, 21:29

    I would volunteer to fight for animals . We should Sell the poachers remains as a trophy maybe add some incentive for eliminating anyone who tries to kill an animal completely frivolous reasons. Let's create a market in the rhinos favor

  • Peter
    02 December 2013, 10:31

    'Shooting to Kill' poachers is the wrong answer to poaching.
    Believe me, my stomach turns every day, witnessing and hearing about how humans treat animals. It blows my mind how satanic humans can be and to which levels of horror some go to make a buck. My immediate reaction is to retaliate with force. But as with many other processes in nature, things will balance out. Poachers force will increase too and it turns into a spiral of increased violence and suffering. Instead, use cunning and use their force to neutralise them, like in martial arts.

    A dead poacher can no longer be used. There are two ways to 'use' a poacher.
    1. engage the Intelligence Forces to track down the upchain
    2. capture poachers alive and offer them a better salary to protect wildlife and prevent poaching, waiving prosecution. Poachers often have excellent knowledge of the bush (related to poaching). This method (using the criminals to fight the criminals) is successfully used worldwide in the IT world, fighting hackers and other IT fraud.

    At the end of the day, a poacher needs to eat as well. Why not offer him a 'safer' way to achieve this goal ?

  • Edgar Friendly
    28 December 2013, 18:34

    As I said before - poachers should be dealt with in the same way they as the rhinos have been by them. Shoot to kill and use the [deleted] as biomass - or a renewable source of energy. It is renewable as they keep on getting replaced by new ones. Believe me - we the Homo sapiens are the only species that resort to this form of unnecessary slaughter of innocent animals.
    I am sure I am not the only person who would volunteer or even pay to be given the chance to maim and kill these [deleted].
    A lot of the comments are so true about the demand for rhino horns and ivory from our eastern friends. I just don't understand how r3t4rded some people are into thinking that the powdered form of rhino horn is going to help them make their p£nis grow to a whole 2" !! or it will make them into a more manly man!

    This is so sickening.

  • Chrismari
    28 December 2013, 18:50

    So over this crap!
    Do to the poachers whatever they have done to the animal.
    Shoot them, cut their noses off.. they are useless humans!
    No loss to the human race!
    That is a clear message, I'd say..

  • Anon123
    30 December 2013, 21:59

    When I read and hear stories of the countless rhinos being butchered, I get so angered and can understand totally why people would want to kill the poachers. Even though what they are doing is inhumane and evil - to kill them though, is wrong and deep-down we know it. Two wrongs don't make a right. We have to be smart about how we will tackle this problem.

    We need to set up sting operations to track down the parties involved and try and cull the underground trade of rhino horn.

    Sending them to jail/prison won't help either as a lot of the prison/police officials are corrupt and are bribed easily [well documented fact].

    This may sound like a contradiction but we could chop off a hand or both as a clear message and then deport them. That way they keep their lives but are then unable to poach and they will have the rest of their lives to remember and repent for their mistake(s).

  • Degree7
    06 January 2014, 01:20

    They definitely need stricter laws on poaching. I was once lost for the difference between safari hunting and poaching. Now I know that poachers kill hundreds of endangered animals for their ivory and other valuable parts, leaving the rest of the animal to rot. Disgusting creatures.

  • TomS
    06 January 2014, 12:32

    We all want to save the rhinos. Will killing poachers save the rhino? I'm afraid I doubt it. With so many poor, ignorant and greedy people, combined with sky-high prices for rhino horn, this is unlikely to work. And the justice system often seems incapable of processing captured poachers to produce any effective deterrent. I suggest that we need to consider other strategies. I'm not a rhino expert, but here's a couple. Remove all rhino horns from all rhinos. Terrible, perhaps, but maybe this might stop the slaughter. And then another option would be to poison the horn in some way (careful not to poison the rhino!). This might have the great benefit of hitting the consumers of rhino horn, who seem to be so difficult to influence. A third option would be to flood the rhino horn supply chain (difficult, I'm sure, but not impossible) with bad tasting pseudo-horn (eg my ground up toe nails?), which would depress the price, and again hit the consumers of rhino horn. Just my thoughts..

  • Anonymous commenter
    07 January 2014, 15:50

    Last night they aired the plight of the African elephant on a nature conservation programme (50/50) on South African television. It was SO shocking/heart breaking to say the least! How conservationists manage to digest the slaughtering of african wildlife on a daily basis, I don't know.

    At the moment 36000 African elephants are poached in Africa every year and in some cases the poor animal isn't even dead before the poachers starts hacking away at it's tusks. Absolutely barbaric! What is wrong with the human race that we cannot seem to get a grip and responsibly look after this beautiful planet God entrusted unto us?

    From where I'm sitting, the situation seems so serious, that something drastic needs to be done ASAP. Can't the people of Africa somehow stand together for the sake of our beautiful continent and send all the Chinese back to China with the message that they are no longer welcome in Africa if they continue with the demand for rhino horn and ivory (which they mainly get illegally from Africa).

    Forget asking governments to help, because many of them are in bed with the Chinese government and seemingly want to do things diplomatically. This approach doesn't work with unethical people. It's no secret that the Chinese doesn't seem to care about the environment (have a look at the Anti China Facebook page and see what atrocious things they do to animals – be warned, not for the faint hearted).

    Ordinary Africans need to stand together and send all Chinese people back to China where they can pillage and destroy to their heart's content until there is nothing left to consume in their country. Surely there's ways and means of getting rid of them without resorting to violence. I'm sure there's a lot of beautiful ethical Chinese people out there, but I'm affraid the rotten apples spoils the lot for me. No more mister nice guy African people, let's take hands for the sake of Africa's wildlife who cannot fend for themselves – enough is enough!!!

  • Dan
    07 January 2014, 21:23

    Shoot to kill policy of poachers is justifable in all cases. The reason being: Human kind is in now way close to extinction, as opposed to the wildlife being poached, Humans can allways be replaced, the hunted species cannot come back, once hunted to extinction.

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 January 2014, 22:11

    I want to SCREAM my head off over the continued mass slaughter of elephants, rhinos, and tigers. I'm horrified and incensed by ALL OF IT. I'm 100% in agreement for the execution of ALL poachers. If it means the saving of even one animal, a big fat "do it", as the poachers don't serve any purpose other than destruction. I would gladly take part if given the opportunity.

  • Dennis Michaell Meaney
    14 January 2014, 01:56

    Poachers must be terminated with extreme prejudice.

  • Dejan
    15 January 2014, 04:10

    I am pro immediate execution of any individual caught killing animals for fun or monetary gain.

  • Anonymous commenter
    19 January 2014, 20:35

    Poachers are heartless arseholes who think its "Fun" to kill an endangered animal. They have a right to be extinct themselves.

  • CheifImagineer
    21 January 2014, 20:03

    I was trying to contact the African Delegation at the U. N., however no success. It is my understanding that "unmanned aircraft" are of interest in controlling poachers. Any suggestions as to who to contact?

  • Hercules du Preez
    25 January 2014, 09:48

    I am a Anti Poaching Ranger in South Africa, and working and being amoungst these rhino is life changing. It is like they know we are protecting them and we can get within 10,5m of them without them acting violently... These animals are our closest friends when out in the field, will you take a life to save your best friends life? In real life your friend can defend himself, not these rhino we are the only thing standing between them and death. If and when we come in contact with a poacher, we will respond with the same force as them.

  • ChiefImagineer
    27 January 2014, 04:27

    The last comment I made was asking about suggestions to contact who ever in African Government made the offer of $10,000 for a way to control poachers. Or possibly everyone are just long on words, and nothing on action.

  • Stan
    31 January 2014, 03:06

    Treat poaching as a game of chess. You will never win a game of chess using emotion, but only using intelligence. Poachers are toxic waste, but they are extremely intelligent, and one must respect and accept that. We must be more intelligent than them, and only then will we 'check' them. I can sit here writing how bad poachers are, but wildlife will still die. We must take away the product the poachers want, like what rhino rescue project is doing. I am planning of using indelible dye, like in banks, to devalue tiger skins - it will not stop poaching, but decrease profitabilty. We are in the 21st century, so we must use 21st century means. Poachers used cyanide to kill animals in Africa, thus, we must use hemicals that devalue animals but not harm wildlife. I have tested methods to devalue tiger skin and hopefully will test in India. If anyone is interested, please let me know on this website and I will set up email, and we can start the ball rolling.

  • Lenny McCoy
    05 February 2014, 17:08

    I completely agree that it is both necessary and justified to have a "shoot to kill" policy with poachers. The animals concerned are facing extinction and everything needs to be done to halt the slaughter.

  • Alan Day
    12 February 2014, 12:16

    All poachers and everyone connected with the ivory trade must be found and killed. The human race is in no danger of extinction, and we need to be ruthless in order to protect elephants and rhinos. If the total destruction of China would save endangered species I would say "Okay, lets wipe China off the face of the Earth!"

  • Paul
    12 February 2014, 16:58

    Anti poaching units should be trained to the highest standard. The following skills should be acquired: field craft, survival, tracking, navigation, (compass and map reading, GPS), animal behaviour, radio communications, weapons handling, ambushes, patrols, assault tactics, anti-poaching law. Patrol the borders and escort rhinos and herd of elephants in small groups. Small groups of anti-poaching units should be deployed two weeks on, two weeks off - rotating the units.
    Poachers should be caught and interrogated until they talk, exposing the chain higher up, then sentenced to life in prison or death. I'm going to join the anti poaching units to hunt these bastards down...

  • Jimmy
    14 February 2014, 09:35

    I can not believe this editorial this person wrote? How many human beings are there on this earth? I Don't know the exact figure but lets say a billion. What is the current Rhino and Elephant population? Possibly a thousand of each and this editor is protecting and I can't help but laugh at the irony, the rights of a human being poacher. Just look at this arrogance what is this world coming to Mind you I would be the first person to be in harms way to protect anything that cant defend itself.

  • JJKay
    15 February 2014, 07:59

    Death to all poachers. Why should retarded scum like that be allowed to dirty the face of this earth? Human life more valuable than wildlife? Hell no. Not in this case. See the big picture. Eradicate all poachers and scum that facilitate poaching, whilst simultaneously imprisoning all retards who sell and buy products made from Rhino horns, ivory, shark's fin etc. etc.

  • Neil
    18 February 2014, 00:03

    This is really bad and i want to do something to help, if anyone knows how i can join the anti poaching team then email me at mutha999@. The poachers are cowardly scum and make me sick. I just saw the clip on liveleak about the poor rhino that had its face cut off in order for the poachers to get its horn. It was still alive , really upsetting but cant imagine what pain the animal was going through. Do the same to the poachers.......

  • pete
    21 February 2014, 11:43

    Where can you donate to the cause of cutting these poaching organizations off at the knees? Lets get motivated people!!!!!

  • Anonymous commenter
    23 February 2014, 01:35

    Yes it is horrible what people will do to animals, but what about the millions of animals that are bred to be eaten, are they not worthy of our affection?

  • Hercules du Preez
    25 February 2014, 09:31

    I agree with Paul 100%, we need to be trained in all those mentioned above, now we're only getiing a few of the above training.

  • Mical
    28 February 2014, 09:33

    Burn every store selling ivory around the world. Organize groups that kill poachers and all other wildlife killing groups, i.e. whales, dolphins, etc. We need to fight for wildlife with the same conception as those killing for money. We start killing the little guy, the poachers, then work up the chain, we kill those selling, we kill all the way to the top. Then cut the head off. Let's do this!

  • Peter Bean
    01 March 2014, 12:14

    I feel so much better now that I have read all of the comments posted on your site. I have been trying to convince as many of our guests as possible that any person involved in any way with Poaching (especially Rhino) should be publicly executed, after being tortured. (No, I am not just saying that as another extremist bunny hugger, I mean it) I have three conditions I feel would go a long way to saving the Rhino. The execution of poachers is the first one. The second one is that ONLY people who own Rhino should be allowed to vote on any legal aspects regarding Rhino ownership etc. That would lead to the obvious and third conclusion that Rhino owners should be allowed to legally trade their "own" Rhino horn. A democracy is supposed to be guided by the majority of the population. So let us vote on the death penalty for poaching. There can only be one reason why the government does not stop the poaching and that is because they are directly benefiting from poaching. Who gets the money from fines? THE ANC. Who gets the horns that are "kept" as evidence? THE ANC. And who pays for the jail time and court procedures? you and I. And that is why you will not stop the poaching with current, pathetic first world laws in a third world country. I will guarantee you, if Rhino owners were legally allowed to trade their own Rhino horn, we would have a hundred thousand Rhino in South Africa within twenty years. It is not viable to spend the time and effort to protect your Rhino if you only own the rotting carcass.
    Why do you think there are ten million cattle, thirty million sheep and sixty million head of game in South Africa? Because "IF IT PAYS IT STAYS"
    It is way easier and way more profitable to be a Rhino Poacher in South Africa than a Rhino farmer. If a Farmer were to sell a horn for ten million, he would have to pay four million in taxes. If the poacher gets caught he pays thirty thousand rand and walks free. OH MY GOD! HUMANS ARE STUPID!

  • Paul burnett
    12 March 2014, 20:16

    It absolutely enrages me that this still takes place! As a serving member of the armed forces I would gladly leave & even take a pay cut to track the poachers & execute them. Small task forces; that are trained & equipped properly would cut poacher numbers almost immediately.

  • Anonymous commenter
    16 March 2014, 20:36

    Ok I need to know, is there anyway, any organization I could join where I could kill these evil men. I had my sights set on military, but this is calling my name. email me -

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 March 2014, 13:01

    I would join up with any group that kills poachers. No pay.

  • Curran Padake
    17 March 2014, 16:56

    People fail to understand the implications on the eco system. Reticulate pythons for example are being hunted and killed for their skins to make handbags. The reduction in the python population has resulted in an increase in the rat populations in south east asia.

  • Anonymous commenter
    18 March 2014, 21:41

    I would gladly put a nice .338 Lapua round through any poachers head. To try to bring these people to some form of justice system is just ridiculous. They are slaughtering innocents so they should be treated as terrorists. End of story. If enough poachers are killed by anti-poachers they may think twice about trying to kill these innocent animals.

  • carpetmonster
    05 April 2014, 11:54

    As in a number of responses, I myself believe these poachers should either be shot, or dismembered so they are unable to use a weapon again, the real problem allies in the utter scum at the top of the chain who are making thousands, Kill them and their families that will reduce the poaching, take there assets and share amongst the communities that are protecting these animals..
    The only good point great organisations are educating there locals let’s hope it reduces.

  • Mubasher
    07 April 2014, 06:03

    There will always be poachers available to replace the one that is dead. This will no accomplish anything. The threat to rhinos will still be there. The main thing to do is what the military does. Send a spy poacher into the community to find out who is actually funding this atrocious act. This way intelligence can be gathered to build a case. Second, metal detectors should be placed on strategic points where most poaching is seen. This way if any poacher walks in with a gun or a trap then they will automatically be detected. There are lots of other ingenious ideas that can be utilized to combat these vile 'creatures'. Thirdly, remote controlled cameras like the 'dung-cam' can be used for surveillance and to detect any traps set by poachers. To be honest I have many ideas that can be implemented but there needs education. People need to be educated about the ineffectiveness of using rhino horn. Doctors and scientist here should conduct a test demonstrating how ineffective it is. These are just few ideas but they can help greatly reduce the atrocity that's happening. All in all. Donate for the cause!

  • Terri Greer
    10 April 2014, 23:55

    I so support the killing of poachers, we can't do it fast enough for me. Otherwise, perhaps cutting off their noses and hands might show them what they have inflicted on these animals. Also, the idiots who purchase rhino horns, elephant tusks, shark fins, or other awful things done to animals by people for whatever their too often stupid reasons are should be prosecuted to the fullest or better yet, let's stop aid to their countries until their countries stop these totally awful so called human beings from doing these heinous acts.

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 April 2014, 02:00

    read what the Bible says about the issue. people are more important than animals

  • Anonymous commenter
    16 April 2014, 01:34

    People say that animals are more important then humans, but humans are mammals and mammals are animals. I know we are meant and built to eat other animals, but not to kill them for skin or ivory and horns. I mean are these people really serious I know the bible says something, but aside from what the bible says I mean think about how wrong killing fellow mammals and marine life for human gain. No one should kill animals for money it's horrible and wrong on so many levels. Even I won't eat some meats for example for the sake of my feelings about this topic I rarely eat cow, chicken, pig, and seafood because of how much I care. I don't think its right to kill so much that the animal is in danger for how long it will be able to exist.

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 April 2014, 06:39

    i hate the fact that rhinos are be poached like they're nothing. i mean, like, what if there were no more rhinos left? no trace of the rhino would be left for anyone. but i don't think it would be necessary to kill them. only threaten to do it.

  • Karina
    20 April 2014, 01:14

    Crucify poachers. That sends a more of a message. Have them agonize as much as possible before they die. It's what they do to the animals.

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 April 2014, 21:57

    What would Jack Bauer do? He may be fictional but he goes to extremes to prevent humans from making themselves extinct.
    Education is the key but that takes generations to get through, the Rhinos don't have that long. Will the governments of countries using Rhino products change the law to make it illegal to buy and sell such products? Will this drive the business underground? Probably very tiny amounts of Rhino horn in those tablets, rest of it junk, maximises profit. Humans destroyed the earth when they invented money and religion.

  • Anonymous commenter
    22 April 2014, 23:23

    End them. STR, WWF, etc should hire soldiers of fortune to fight back. Re-direct some conservation funding into counter-poaching direct action teams & Africa and Asia. Strike fear in these people and their recruits and the word will get out that it is a bad profession to involved in...

  • Liam Murphy
    24 April 2014, 20:48

    Every poacher in the world should have to take the death sentence not just 7 years in jail! Those assholes that are poaching have no soules!!!

  • Liam Murphy
    24 April 2014, 21:00

    This guy that posted a comment named max IS A TOTAL DUMB ASS !! first poachers do male 2 American $ a day but that is so much money in there currency. you could buy a gorilla for 5 american dollars so poachers make plenty. They could also sell there kill buy them selves.
    So max quit being a dumb ass.

  • Anonymous commenter
    02 May 2014, 22:29

    I think that all poachers should be sentenced to death. There is just no reason for it. I feel this way about anyone that abuses animals period. They should have done to them what they do to the is only fair.

  • MugoUrth
    03 May 2014, 15:19

    Max's comment seemed... very disconnected. Why did he just randomly capitalize words? But what I mostly got out of it was "Killing Poachers won't solve the problem. Pay more attention to the man behind the curtains." or something like that.

    Also, I think we should protect animals at all costs, however I think killing Poachers should be a last resort (even though they really deserve it). I think life sentences and interrogations are better.

  • Fireinthehole
    27 May 2014, 17:31

    The poachers deserve to die.

    29 May 2014, 11:54


  • Avi
    04 June 2014, 00:33

    i will whole heatedly contribute to a fund that rewards rangers that kills the poachers or pay for the families of those who get killed in poacher attacks. Rangers endanger their lives and by just creating an unreasonable morale dilemma of saving the criminals we endanger the lives of rangers and other animals.

  • Anonymous commenter
    04 June 2014, 17:29

    The world has well over 7 billion people. We can stand to purge off some of the most lowly to help preserve our wildlife. I completely agree with bonuses awarded to rangers bringing the ultimate punishment to these disgusting humans. In impoverished communities in which poaching offers huge rewards to the assailants it is important to offer similar awards to the people doing good.

  • Ben
    11 June 2014, 12:55

    When you find a baby rhino crying next to its mother because it's mother has been shot and killed for it's horn, you can only scream at the senselessness of it.

    That is why the poachers are better off dead. The rhinos did noone any harm and live peacefully, the poachers are murderers.

  • Gunnhildr9
    12 June 2014, 00:26

    All poachers should be killed, period. They have no right to destroy a whole species just for monetary gain. They wipe out rhinos and endanger the lives of brave rangers struggling to protect wildlife. No compromise - poachers must die.

  • Sara
    14 June 2014, 02:56

    We must not stop this program. It must go on! Where can I donate to snipers to kill poachers? I wish I could do it myself. These evil poachers represent the lowest form of life. How can we keep this program alive and well?

  • Anonymous commenter
    14 June 2014, 05:28

    Since poachers are so hard to convict, then maybe sending rangers some head mounted camera could help

  • Jamie
    16 June 2014, 02:33

    Off with their heads....
    It would be a totally different situation if they where killing other people for let's just say there finger nails because the Asians are convinced it cures disease!! If that was the case then the way this was handled would be completely different, just because they are animals people see it as ok?!?
    No not me it has gone to far I am studying reef conservation and the seahorse trade in Asia is my biggest nightmare as they believe for some reason, due to one of their dumb ass ancestors saying it heals you...heals what exactly? There will be none left soon and then what? They will just produce another myth about another species saying this does the same thing until we have no animals what so ever left. This is the same situation and has almost got me considering moving to Africa instead and setting up a rebel ranger force to wipe some of these scum out. Such a sad world we live in today that officials just stand by and let this happen. As said before the trusts which we put so much money into do nothing to save these lives they say they do but all they really do is tell us when one dies.
    If anyone would like to join the rebel ranger force let me know the sooner this is done the better, I for one would happily put my life on the line to protect such an indangered species as I am just one of the billions of the most abundant species on this planet. Disgusted is not even the word

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 June 2014, 02:11

    how do you put a hit on a known poacher? I have $100k burning a hole in my pocket that I will gladly give to the person that shows proof of poacher who killed Satao (kenya's biggest elephant) and then shows his head on a stick!! Im not kidding either!!

  • Mark
    20 June 2014, 04:17

    The Chinese and other Asians who organize poaching and smuggling should be tracked down too. They should be killed without mercy.

  • Erica Jones
    23 June 2014, 21:02

    Poachers are evil pieces of shit and SHOULD BE KILLED!
    I saw a disturbing video of cowards who killed beautiful lions, tigers, giraffes, rhinos, and more and was so outraged. Poor animals die from the hands of these sick bastards thanks to guns and tranquilizers. I DARE them to go up to one of these majestic creatures unarmed!!

    There are so few endangered species left for our children to see. I support our local zoo and Animal Rights groups and campaigns. I wish more could be done to save all the wonderful animals out there. All countries need stricter penalties for poaching.

  • Anonymous commenter
    24 June 2014, 12:54

    On an emotional level I would volunteer my time to assist hunting and killing poachers however killing them makes it harder for the poachers to get the horns. Less supply drives up the prices therefore making the problem worse. As many have mentioned, reducing demand is the key! Now just need to get these [deleted] to stop pillaging the world for all it has.

  • Tiff
    28 June 2014, 00:22

    They are really not doing a good enough job, they need more support and funds. The main reason poachers are still so active is because the Chinese thoroughly believe that Black Rhino horn will make them able to perform sexually, seriously.

  • Anonymous commenter
    09 July 2014, 18:22

    i think that these poachers should all get there head cut of with a machete. They should be captured, and stabbed multiple times with spears untill they give up the name of the person that send them, then have there heads cut off with machetes and stuck on poles all around the wildlife preserve. then go and find there "boss" and fill up his house with him in it with mustard gas.

  • michael prater
    19 July 2014, 07:34

    I feel for the hundreds of rangers killed in the line of duty. I wonder how many rangers could be saved if there was a medical doctor in each ranger camp that could stabilize their condition enough for them to be transported to a hospital instead of dying in the field. I am a doctor and would be very interested in starting a volunteer group of doctors from all over the world to staff remote ranger camps for this purpose. I am also a very accurate shooter out to 1000 yards if that helps.

  • Toby
    25 July 2014, 03:44

    they should die ( the poachers, not the rhinos)

  • Mark Ferch
    26 July 2014, 03:36

    We could advertise in China about how cool a panda coat would be.

  • Anonymous commenter
    03 August 2014, 14:30

    I would happily donate to the policing, arrest, and execution of all poachers. When these intelligent giants are gone they are gone.

  • MasterSeijin
    08 August 2014, 04:35

    All poachers around the world need to be handled this way. But they're not the root of the problem.

    Their customers are predominantly the wealthy elite, or "richers" as I like to call them. Peoplle like the Kardashians/Jenners. The Trumps. The Hiltons and so on. These are the people who demand powdered rhino horn as a form of erectile dysfunction medication, or gorilla skin bedsheets, or whale oil for archaic lanterns they use around their mansions as to save on electric bills. These people should also be exterminated brutally if our future is to have any wildlife in it.

  • Laura
    12 August 2014, 05:58

    The national parks giving bonuses for killing poachers are well aware that if they do not kill the poachers than the poachers will kill the rangers. The poachers should be killed on sight, it's the right thing to do.

  • Anonymous commenter
    16 August 2014, 11:58

    It's sad that all our animals are leaving us because of money and greed
    Especially by the Asians taking the ivory and skins
    We need to stop it at its source, remember most Asians are [deleted]
    So you need to get at them that way ,cut ties with them
    They don't believe in God and his creatures
    Remember the devils eyes, what do they remind you off
    If we stop the demand then it nay stop the poachers
    We need to medically stop the ivory from growing in a short period of day 10 years , then re grow again

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 August 2014, 12:43

    First of all, we should start to boycott buying products from big companies who assemble their products in China, vietnam or elsewhere in asia, where rhino, elefant or tiger- "products" are consumed. Let these companies know, for example on their Facebook-page, that their products carry the blood of rhinos, elefants , tigers (or whatever creature). Add pictures of killed animals to your postings. Call up potential buyers on corresponding product pages not to buy blood-Elefant/ blood-rhino /blood-tiger/ blood-Shark/ blood-dolphine-products. Hurt the asians at their weakest point: Their money. Open blood--pages on Facebook. Add lists of well known companies, who have a production in those "Countries of evil". Tell your friends about blood-animal-products! And then lets wait a while and see what happens...

  • D. Fender
    20 August 2014, 20:10

    Boycott products and services out of the countries of evil

    China, vietnam, other asian and indonesian countries as well are the main production locations of many top 500 western companys. On the other hand many chinese companies belong to the global fortune 500 and have relations to and influence on other companies located in the southern and western hemisphere.
    Relations to those chinese companies as well as outsourcing of production to china / vietnam (and similar evil countries) increases wealth of their upper class, who define obviously the main consumer group of ivory-, rhinohorn-, tiger-"products" and "products" of other endangered species.

    Encourage the community of the remaining intelligent humans to open blood-rhino- / blood-elephant- / blood-tiger- / blood-shark- / blood-whale- / blood-dolphin-product pages on facebook and other internet sites where all companies with relation to countries of evil and out of the countries of evil are listed with their relations, their products and their services! There more the better. The more the difficulter it is to eleinate those sites from the web. Add fotos of killed elephants / rhinos / tigers / whales / ... and build relations! Add stories of our suffering creatures and ask the readers if they are owing products or using services of those companies whose owners and managers don't care at all about nature and creature. Talk to people that work in such companies. Confront them frequently with stories and pictures.
    Think if there is any rhino-blood-free smartphone in the world ... whats your conclusion? Imagine a sticker with a killed rhino / elephant / tiger / ... on the back side of every smartphone ... on car's which contain parts made in that countries ...

    Make the big poachers, the principals suffer by hitting them at their most vulnerable points: Their money, their status. Make them think! Force them to act in our sense ... Encourage everyone to ask for chinese-free / vietnamese-free products and services. Avoid visiting their bloody restaurants.
    Your are the foot-soldier! Even if you don't protect animals directly or can't give money to organizations, you can do a lot!

    Start the defense! Start it today!

  • Anonymous commenter
    10 September 2014, 11:28

    If I had to see a poacher in the bush while I'm driving around, I wouldn't ask any questions he would be dead. It's to risky to go up to a person in the veld you never know who else in in the bush close by. That's how the anti poachers are getting injured and killed. Kill on site

  • DerpNugget
    11 September 2014, 03:12

    :D I'm all for shooting poops in da face

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 September 2014, 00:39

    Flaying should be the punishment for poaching critically endangered species.

  • Robert
    15 September 2014, 21:25

    A recent 77 year sentence for a poacher is a rare event. Generally it's a revolving door system. After seeing elephants slaughtered and rhino brutalized and butchered while still alive, death is the only deterrent to a poacher whether shoot to kill or court ordered execution. Shoot to kill circumvents the corruption in many African nations. The only area we can exert some measure of control is in the field. We apparently can't stop people buying or selling the stuff but we sure can make it a death sentence for poaching.
    Interesting, that in the face of the Chinese led slaughter of African wildlife, killing their native elephants in Yunnan Province is a death penalty offense. Quote from a New York Time's article April 25, 2014 "Since 1995, when four people were executed by firing squad for killing an elephant, only a handful of domestic elephants have been poached for their tusks, according to the state news media, and not one in the past decade.

  • Brian Groom
    20 September 2014, 20:23

    Time has come to shoot to kill poachers on the ground to augment all the other good work being done in forums, wildlife organisations, in negotiations with communities to get them to understand how they should benefit from living with wild animals, with governments to get them to prioritise the fight against this lucrative criminal activity and in the courts to sentence the perpetrators - especially the kingpins such as Ras. These activities need to be escalated collectively and without delay in order to ratchet up the level of resistance against these international poaching organisations in order to become a more daunting deterrent against this genocide.

  • Cynthia McLaglen
    24 September 2014, 22:44

    Unfortunately, very many Rangers in Africa are coming up against gangs sent from Shabab which has vowed allegiance to Al Quaeda and sent raiders to kill unbelievers. They and Boko Haram and Ganjaweed from Darfur, and other gangsters come in groups and have all raised money by raiding other countries in Africa of their Elephants -as many as possible. They come in with high powered guns , assault rifles, machine guns mounted on vehicles or aircraft and RPGs (rocket powered grenades), from the Camaroon with Lords Resistance Army, and from Sudan and other countries in the north, and kill AS MANY ELEPHANTS AS POSSIIBLE IN ORDER TO SELL AND BUY MORE WEAPONS.; and white South Africans have been involved in killing as well. There is corruption amongst many government officials in many countries as well. This IS A WAR, and the Rangers really do not have the weapons, clothes and food as well as a good pair of boots to do their job properly, so to say that they have to hang fire is a little silly. Many Rangers only just get away with their lives against big gangs like these. All that I have said has been reported in The New York Times and other papers. The wild life is being decimated left right and centre. Wake up and look it all up on the Internet from reliable sources. ALL THE WILD LIFE PARTICULARLY THE BIG WILD-LIFE WILL HAVE GONE IN A SHORT TIME IF GOVERNMENT DO NOT DO SOMETHING DRASTIC BECAUSE THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT ANIMALS IT IS ABOUT GREED AND POWER FUELLED BY POVERTY. I have not known what to do for a while but eventually with finding out more and more I have joined the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos and Big Cats. If I were a man and a bit younger I would go to fight with the Rangers. It is a very difficult life but at least I would be on the front line. C. McLaglen

  • AMH
    26 September 2014, 06:29

    Pressure needs to be brought to bear on BBC Wildlife Fund, if they continue to peddle their 'soft-on-poaching' view.

    Money can be better spent on EFFECTIVE conservation efforts, than wasting it on an organization so out of touch, that they withdraw support from programs willing to commit the extreme measures necessary to protect the wildlife they claim to champion.

    What will they do when all the rhinos are gone, while they dither and balk and pontificate about morality -- put out a commercial with a mournful soundtrack to drum up MORE money for their worthless organization?

  • Lorenzo Baldo
    26 September 2014, 13:49

    I am so angry against that! These poachers deserve to be shot, shot to kill very ok, it's too stupid to shot rhinos at present time, in the middle of extintion big troubles and to collect horns just for nothing, just supposing for healing or something like that, it's unbelievable how people can trust these ideas. Poachers are too organized, too aggressive, too unprejudiced to save them, and I think they know. No chances then.

  • TooManyPeople
    04 October 2014, 15:01

    Just kill them.
    And also kill the market the poachers are supplying. Why aren't we boycotting Chinese goods? Sure, its difficult to avoid but how about we just buy less stuff and when we do buy we make sure it's manufactured elsewhere?

  • Gunnhildr9
    20 October 2014, 21:42

    All poachers should be put to death. These scum are genocidal murderers of rhinos and other creatures, and they are traitors for destroying the natural life of Africa. The rangers, who protect these great animals, are putting their lives at serious risk in order to save rhino lives. And when rhinos and rangers are killed, it is their innocent loved ones who suffer the pain of grief and loss. Such evil deeds must be punished accordingly.

  • Anonymous commenter
    02 November 2014, 07:57

    Seriously, the only good poacher is a dead one. The rhino and all creatures are important to our planet. Humans, in the last 30 years have grossly changed the climate, forever, and not in a good way to our world. Besides the obvious things, like war, dumping of toxic waste in our waters and land, sucking up all the resources on Earth until there's practically nothing left, killing of any animals to extinction is also very bad for this planet and even more so to us. We're destroying everything we need to survive in this world and if we keep going down this road, a 100 years from now, give or take a few years, this planet will look different and in some places, unrecognizable. Dinosaurs ruled for hundreds of millions of years, humans have only been around for 250,000 years, that's nothing and its a pretty good bet that humans won't make another 250,000. Now that is a "SAD BUT TRUE" story.

  • Anonymous commenter
    03 November 2014, 07:52

    I am so glad to see such a long running discussion on this matter.
    I believe it has always been the policy and right of game rangers or wildlife wardens to protect themselves from poachers and I fully support their right to return fire when threatened. And yes I agree, we need to save the rhino and so much more,however,
    This whole discussion has seems to be descending into an unhealthy highly emotive tit-for-tat though and such devolution of rational thought generally leads to the distinct rat-a-tat-tat of senseless combat where too many innocents lose it.
    Sure it would be great to think that superman and other fictional heroes could just move in and deal with the poachers and all the rhinos, elephants and other endangered creatures and flora could live on happily ever after, but that's just not reality is it?
    The reality of putting boots on the ground and in the air is carnage. Forget not that many of the areas the poachers operate in are already unstable, poverty racked communities often at war or on the brink of it. The past teaches us that by placing militant pressures on such people is that they tend to react in what western culture would consider irrational ways.
    I have seen the results myself a long time ago, in a slightly different situation; nonetheless, the outcome was the senseless wholesale slaughter of thousands upon thousands of animals in a scorched earth reaction of nasty guys to overwhelming force in the eastern Congo. There where it happened, bleached carcasses of all kinds of rhino, elephant and so many others, lay upon carpets upon carpet of spent ammunition.
    Few animals were seen in a vast area there for over a decade; then they started trickling back in and breeding – but only because the shooting stopped.
    So if you want to start the shooting remember the laws of unintended consequences, and remember who is funding the poachers and worry some because those people are extremely nasty and unpredictable.

    Perhaps those who subscribe to the shoot to kill policy should be aiming at them. They do not hang around wild animals, so an immediate reaction against the animals will not occur. As they rule by fear and violence, they comprise the basest of human thought and action; their very evolution is contrary to the survival of civil society and as such, whoever has the right to exterminate that cancer of humanity would be doing the planet and its’ denizens a favour.
    Some may think this politically incorrect, but common people follow the money................

  • chris joynt
    05 November 2014, 09:23

    Put up double fencing and plant land mines in between! Notices every 100m on fence to state its mined. End of problem! Desperate times call for desperate measures!

  • Mr Bernstein
    08 November 2014, 08:55

    SHOOT TOO KILL THESE SCUM!! Since when have they recognised that the life they are taking has as much right to roam and strive to be successful as much as we. Humans aren't the only ones that evaluate there life. Animals from all corners of the world share the same passion for life that we do. They strive too succeed and to be the most successful they can be!! They need protecting and if I was in government I would go about a shoot to kill method only.

  • Anonymous commenter
    08 November 2014, 18:04

    Poaching is the livelihood of these people... They are not educated and need money to pay for food for there family. I'm not saying poaching is right! I'm very against it but we need to educated these people and give them other options of jobs. This way we can help poor families and also protect the animals! If it came down to it you too would do anything to get money to keep you family alive!

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 November 2014, 00:52

    Yes it is true, endangered species such as the Rhino should be protected with lethal force but there is no point in chopping off the stem. You MUST pull out the roots! Usually their are two types of poachers, one type who hunts to feed their family and the other works for a poaching syndicate. Shooting poachers is a excellent scare tactic against people who do it to get money but against the syndicates it is nothing but a minor setback. If possible poachers MUST be questioned and interrogated. Shooting these poachers is nothing but holding off the inevitable.

  • Cushlomockree
    27 November 2014, 21:15

    Egads!...Shooting the King's deer!
    Sounds like Robin and his band of merry men are sorely needed to defend and help feed the peasants.
    "Conservationism" is a bourgeoisie pastime of the those who think they have control of what happens on this matter what.
    Watching white aristocrats arm blacks and direct them to murder their own people is monstrous.

  • henk
    11 December 2014, 12:37

    Its simple,save the rhino ,elephants before they are all gone,these poatchers are killing the earth,the problem is the corruption,people in charge of these animals are the ones killing them for money,the military should be employed on a full time scale,we need to use weapons and make war against these criminals.employ me,give me the man power and weapons hellicopters,and i will annialate these pigs

  • Holly
    13 December 2014, 15:04

    These places do not realize how much money they make from people wanting to see these animals in the wild and if their is no more animals they will not be making anymore money. They need to take drastic measures to start protecting the animals and sending a clear message that you can't just walk into this country and slay our means of supporting our communities. Wake up countries and start protecting these animals by all means necessary. Shot first ask questions later.

  • J. L. Lee
    17 December 2014, 19:07

    Tie them to a tree and let the lions deal with it.

  • Michael Musgrave
    19 December 2014, 22:32

    Save the Rhino - except they never do. 30 years of failure is your record of saving rhino. Maybe it's time to stop shooting poachers and come up with more innovative ways of saving rhino?

  • Anonymous commenter
    25 December 2014, 02:28

    While i agree with that shoot at sight will not solve the problem and that we have to differ between poacher who do it to survive and poaching syndicates there are some comments i expected to be, people just seeing how cruel criminals are treated. Cushlomockree, it shows that you didnt understand at all what a big problem the poaching is as you pretty much say conservation is not important. I agree with that the problem goes out from the white people, i even know this for fact but like so many people(people who work in this field) tell here that by poaching great job oppurtunities with better income get losed, that the beautiful natural heritage of africa gets destroyed by greedy people and most important that poaching also funds terrorism. your last sentence only indicates as well that you defend criminal actions here. I m not critizising the poor ones under the poacher who do this for their own survival but your comment especial the one sentence "Conservationism" is a bourgeoisie pastime of the those who think they have control of what happens on this matter what" which sounds to me you want to say conservation is not as important, it should be dropped and is taken way to serious. maybe i understood wrong but thats the way it sounds to me. i can tell you, i know from own expirience wildlife conservation is a serious issue and important and poaching a big problem as said it also funds terrorism.

  • Anonymous commenter
    25 December 2014, 03:41

    correct Michael Musgrave. The same it is with the trying to educate and make people all over the world aware of the problem. same as shoot at sight failure over decades, thats why i fully agree some new methods have to come up. question is if the authorities even want to find a way.

  • Samantha
    31 December 2014, 04:25

    Wow. The person who was concerned about the poachers wellbeing should be kicked in the face. Let's justify and feel bad for rapist and child abuseres next.

  • Andrew Kyriakou
    05 January 2015, 01:49

    Yes taking a human life is awful but this has gone too far. We are in a crises! When this article was written in 2012 - 668 ‬‬Rhinos were killed in South Africa. 2013 - 1004 ‬‬Rhinos were slaughtered. Last year, 2014 - It was 1200‬‬!! My god what is it going to be at the end of 2015 - 2000? There is no more time to quibble over if its right or not. We the citizens have to lobby and fight for the harshest possible sentences for these poachers and syndicate bosses. A shoot to kill policy is simply a necessary evil I'm afraid to say. Even temporarily until the situation is under control and possibly the death sentence for anyone proven guilty of it. Harsh as it may sound what else can we do? The Govt is doing nothing as usual. Someone said they felt sorry for the poachers! I responded with this comment: I don't feel sorry for them one bit! Do you know how many rangers and guards these poachers kill each year? How many Rhino have their horns chainsawed off while they are still alive? And how many Calves are continually found alive screaming next to their mother's mutilated bodies..They have poached 1200 Rhinos in South Africa in 2014. That's broken the record of 1004 in 2013. And thats nothing compared to Elephants. Even legalising ivory trade did not work, so it won't work for Rhinos either. Trying to educate is obviously the more 'enlightmented approach' but we have run out of time. Believe it or not – they are killing about 120 Elephants on average every Day on the African continent. These are highly organised killers who don't give a damn about the carnage they are leaving in their wake. I dare you to watch this whole short video below, this is happening everyday in South Africa. Watch it and then tell me you still feel sorry for the poachers:

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 January 2015, 12:09

    "In the event of a contact (a ranger meeting a poacher), it would be much more beneficial if they were caught and arrested, giving the opportunity to recover valuable information about who has commissioned them to turn to poaching, information about the supply chain, and smuggling routes. Then kill the bastards,slowly! All of them the poachers, middlemen and buyers, I will come and do it for if you want.

  • Anonymous
    25 January 2015, 19:52

    Those who have no respect for life, do not deserve it themselves.

  • Phil Ballman
    30 January 2015, 10:44

    Save the rhino's

  • Anonymous commenter
    05 February 2015, 09:36

    A animals/Rhinos life is equal to any human life. screw the poachers for they are cold blooded murderers. defend the helpless Rhino for crying out loud!.

  • Chris
    05 February 2015, 16:24

    While my initial reaction is to shoot the bastards who kill rhinos/elephants/tigers/lions etc, the fact remains that you have no idea what these people are going through. While killing an animal for its' horn is as repulsive for me as it is for the rest of you, the fact remains that very few to none of the "kill poachers" crowd has even been to Africa, I'll wager, let alone lived there. Speaking as a homegrown Canadian white male with a detached viewpoint, I can say that shooting the poachers would be a minor deterrent. Crime syndicates would find a way to bribe the rangers, or the people that give them equipment. Sabotage, mislead and destroy. The fact remains that you need to take down the syndicate to resolve the current problem, but even that is a short term solution. People are starving, and for those who know NOTHING about starving, let me educate you.

    No matter how righteous you consider yourself, no matter how much willpower you have, if you stepped off your safety nets, away from our socialist countries, with nothing but poaching between you and an agonizing death, you'd take the damn job.

    Consider this: The only difference (assuming no wasted meat) between those who hunt rhinos and those who farm chickens or hunt deer is the health of the species harmed. Humans are Omnivorous consumers. While I agree that there are too many of us, the fact remains that the poachers are shortsighted because they have to be to live. We in the western world have the luxury (Yes LUXURY) of long term planning.

    Killing the poachers? maybe not. Killing the wasteful bastards who make light of an entire species? YES. but don't blame the starving bastard with a gun. Blame the jackass that put him there.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 February 2015, 08:06

    This is why I will not donate to Save The Rhino, which condones hunting . I instead give money to charity that REALLY PROTECTS. STR SHOULD OPPOSE HUNTING NOT SPOUT LIES OF CONSERVATION , WHERE HUNT IS CONCERNED IT IS A CON I quote:'' Cathy Dean27 June 2013, 09:53
    Pondo, there are very major differences between legitimate trophy hunters (I am excluding pseudo hunters) and poachers. Here are the three most important ones:
    1. Poachers will shoot any rhino, even a pregnant female, which means that the 7 or 8 calves a cow whould normally bear in her lifetime will not be born, thus reducing future growth. Trophy hunters target only males, often post-reproductive or those that have killed other bulls by fighting
    2. Money from trophy hunting is reinvested in the game farm, which employs local staff etc. Money from poaching goes to criminal syndicates, which also frequently trade in drugs and arms, and has been used to fund terrorist activities.
    3. Trophy hunters hang their trophies on their walls; they don't illegally sell them to criminal syndicates.
    Finally, I don't agree with your distinction between white and black people's role in rhino poaching - or rhino conservation for that matter.'' END QUOTE

  • Anonymous commenter
    19 February 2015, 04:05

    I'm just reading what people are saying here and I am honestly starting to think that either people here are mentally challenged or they completely lost their mind. Are you even listening to yourselves? Kill a poacher on sight? Really? And are we seriously comparing a human life to a rhino? I was just an unbiased reader who wanted to get a little insight on this and all I see is people who are demanding the death of other human beings for the crime of hunting endangered animals. Don't get me wrong, I personally think that hunting an endangered animal is very wrong and especially rhinos because, well, we don't really need to eat them. But seriously, are we really killing men who hunt rhinos? Is the death penalty the appropriate measure? Wouldn't life sentencing do the same trick by keeping them away for example? I mean we don't even do executions for rape criminals but we are more than willing to do it for a stupid rhino? Did you know that many species go extinct every day and many of them are species that we haven't even identified yet? We don't even know all the species that exist on our planet. Shocker i know. Some people might say losing this species is gonna damage our ecosystem greatly. At this point if you are so worried about our ecosystems and our habitats and our earth in general, your last worry is a missing species. There are MUCH bigger factors and determinants that will make a MUCH bigger change if you focus on them rather than this petty detail. It's like if it was raining gorilla shit 24/7 and someone is so worried about the pigeon droppings on his car. It's a piss in the ocean. Grow the **** up rhino huggers. Seriously.

  • Anonymous commenter
    26 February 2015, 19:17

    EVERYBODY BE QUIET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous commenter
    27 February 2015, 12:47

    Poachers should not be shot on sight. A public execution, crucifixion at the entrance to a village. As a lesson to all even entertaining the thought of poaching.

  • Nicki
    01 March 2015, 21:47

    To anyone not taking animal slaughter seriously: You obviously have not witnessed the mutilation and pain endured by this animals-most are alive during this event. That same poacher will slit your throat for a cell phone or less. It is a monster with no conscience, not a human. To protect a poacher means you are in the same category.
    This topic is like the drug trade and arms dealers. Bring 1 down and 2 will take its place. Supply will only stop once demand has stopped and we cannot exactly bomb Vietnam, China, Saudi etc. Legalizing it will bring another area for corruption in our current government. They are already calculating the money they have 'lost' due to poaching on their websites.
    Saddest, but safest way to stop Rhino horn and Ivory will at the end be to de-horn the animals in a painless way professionally.
    For some humanitarians and the 'Shut Ups': Not all humans are as human as we are supposed to be. Do you 1st need to be a victim before you face reality?

  • Anonymous commenter
    07 March 2015, 14:21

    "And are we seriously comparing a human life to a rhino?"

    We could. And rhinos are more valuable, since they are close to extinction, and there are far too many humans as it is. Certainly an innocent animal's life is more valuable than that of a poacher. If they were starving and killed them for food, that would be one thing. But the only reason they do this is greed and disregard for life, animal or human. There are a lot of struggling and poor people in those countries and they don't resort to poaching.

    It would be nice if law could truly be enforced, but as it is, I consider it a war. The poachers have declared war on animals, rangers, and rest of the society. So yeah, kill them at sight until you can actually try and convict them efficiently.

    One or the very reasons the planet is in such a sorry state is the arrogant belief that humans are indefinitely more valuable than other life forms for the mere virtue of existing.

  • Ronald Wempen
    12 March 2015, 06:02

    The United States government likes to put its nose into everyone's business, interfering even where it has no direct and immediate interest. Large animals and herds are essential for the maintenance of our environment, but the U.S. does not lift a finger, even fawning over China. We must insist on our elected representatives taking a strong stance and positive action, even if that includes the use of Predator drones to stop the poachers. (Lots of YouTubes featuring their use against other terrorists. Drones and Hellfire missiles could be furnished, plus training for native operators.) Intelligence agencies and Interpol can certainly do much more to take down the criminal gangs and their entire supply line. Why shoudn't Bill Gates and other philanthropies offer their help? If they can only bring themselves to use white-glove techniques, then at least heavy advertising, teaching, and media campaigns should be funded to shame the final users.
    When Russia finally regained control of their borders about 5 years ago, Vladimir Putin, as an animal conservationist, put a stop to Chinese poaching of Siberian Antelopes, which had been decimated to near-extinction. Now these herds are slowly being rebuilt. The U.S. has done the same with wolves and buffalo, and it is past time to protect and defend threatened species everywhere.
    I encourage a letter and email campaign be started, with a plan of action as indicated above. If started now, we may influence all Presidantial candidates to make a commitment, or at least take a strong stance.
    I challenge all of you reading this to use whatever resources they have to make this idea "go viral". Let's see how long it takes for our voices to be heard.

  • justin
    26 March 2015, 09:23

    Humans are flourishing, thriving, and overpopulating. Meanwhile particular rhino breeds are being forced into extinction, with others to follow. A swift bullet should be planted into the face of any and all poachers. Sometimes, violence is the answer unfortunately. The rhinos have no say, and we have no morals, so the few of our sad race who feel passionate enough about this to act on it, need to act aggressively.

  • Anonymous commenter
    27 March 2015, 15:20

    I would love to hunt poachers. I cherish all life, but I would certainly take a human life to save an animal who is being poached. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a vegetarian. Hunting for food in a sustainable manner, or raising livestock ethically etc, is fully supported by me. Humans have the capacity to know better, and if I had the opportunity to defend an endanger species at the cost of a human life, I would. Without hesitation. Poaching is disgusting, and as far as I'm concerned, those people have voided their right to life. I would not shoot first, but you can bet I'll go for the kill shot if you fire at me or an endangered animal.

  • Anonymous commenter
    29 March 2015, 17:52

    My opinion towards poachers is that they can kill a rhino, but only if he is brave enough to do it by the laws of nature, meaning without a gun and knive. By all means, kill as many rhinos as you want as long as you do it bare hands, that is much more sensible than just killing off nature with firearms just because you have them. If you can fist fight a rhino and punch him to death, you earned it. But if you use firearms or other weapons, im sad to say you are just as pathetic as the morons who brought you up to be what you are today (your parents).

  • Anonymous commenter
    02 April 2015, 13:48

    i say kill them any way as posing as people looking to hunt then terning the gun on them there destroying a species and your culture. take them out befor its to late

  • icetrout
    09 April 2015, 22:52

    earthlings have a right of not being made to go extinct by mad hairless apes... kill poachers on sight & any hairless ape caught dealing in body parts of endangered earthlings... to hell with so called human rights... human rights do not trump extinctions of fellow earthlings... :X

  • Anonymous commenter
    16 April 2015, 22:17

    Infiltrate the poachers network and exterminate/make examples of these individuals. Feed them to the Lions so that hey can get a taste of their blood and then they may become the hunted. Save the Rhinos!!

  • Gregster
    16 April 2015, 22:36

    Live by the gun then die by the gun. These poachers are well organised teams that hunt for trophies and the horns , they are prepared to kill rhinos, elephants & tigers for their needs, if caught in the act then they deserve to be shot. Human rights should not come into protecting them as animal rights are not protecting the Rhinos enough. One day they may become the hunted.

  • Dragzilla
    19 April 2015, 09:15

    Poachers need to be ruthlessly killed. No more half-hearted tactics. I am someone with a lot of free time on my hands and I would appreciate any information on how I may be able to lend assistance to the further protection of animals in Africa. I would travel and train to curb their abhorrent behaviour.

  • paul chapman
    08 May 2015, 23:38

    poachers must be stopped by death only no excuses these people shouldn't be allowed to live they are going to make so many animals in the world extinct its just not right protect protect all our beautiful animals in the world ,,,,too many animals are at risk from so many things that's happening in the world today global warming oil drilling logging these things all need to be controlled.......

  • Anonymous commenter
    10 May 2015, 12:05

    First off, I must state that I highly disagree with poaching. I love animals, and hate to see them being killed. I would hate for any creature to become extinct. But I also understand things from the poacher's perspective. I lived out in the bush in zambia for quite a while; while I was there, I met many poachers. These men were usually dirt poor villagers who would kill an animal mainly for the food that it could provide for their families/ villages. Every single part of the animal was used; nothing went to waste. Like I said before, I do NOT support poaching... but if poaching was what could keep your family alive when you had nothing, would you not perhaps do the same? Just something to think about for those of you who are so willing and ready to support, and even aid, in the killing of poachers. If you had to choose between the life of an animal, or a fellow human being, which would you choose...? I understand that rangers will shoot to protect themselves (and the animals) but for you people who are wanting to go out there yourselves and hunt down every poacher and murder them, don't you think that there are better options? Prison, for instance? In my humble opinion, a human's life is always more important than an animal's.

  • Prison isn't harsh enough
    14 May 2015, 23:53

    If my family were starving I wouldn't hunt a severely endangered animal, I would hunt the people hunting the severely endangered animal, then I'm helping conservation efforts and I'm keeping my family fed :) these ideas of it being for food only help them for now, if the animal goes extinct so does the food supply, if the animal was stable that would make sense. I feel no pity for anyone who poaches, I don't care if it is a child, a woman, a man, any race, any age I believe they deserve death, I believe their families deserve death, I believe anyone who buys these products deserves death and indeed I believe their families deserve death. Every business in China that sells ivory, rhino products, tiger products should be shut down the owners interrogated and tortured into telling where they receive these items and then they should be killed as well as the person who sold it to them. I feel no pity for anyone, they are aware what they are doing at this point and deserve the harshest cruelest and slowest of deaths for what they have done or attempt to do.

  • Temple
    16 May 2015, 17:07

    Money is the problem itsel Holly I warship Christ ; you can only have one master Jesus or money I find no comfort in money money is the fricking source those who warship money are greedy I don't like talking about money is it good no is it evil yes is it plausible yes can it comfort you no i don't let money controll my life for i warship Jesus Christ

  • Anonymous commenter
    25 May 2015, 02:47

    YES its ok to SAVE another life through deadly force if necessary. A human life is not worth more than another life. Life is life, we all have feelings, we all have a soul. Don't make the mistake of thinking we humans are more important than any other life. It's we humans who are destroying the life on this planet, we are the dis-ease on this planet. I'd be glad to save a rhino and its baby from the horror of poaching by making a choice of who's gonna go, the good or the bad

  • David Squibb
    04 June 2015, 17:45

    What's all this namby pamby "as a last resort" blather? These scumbags are threatening to wipe out several species. They don't deserve to exist on this earth. Shoot to kill should be a first resort. Enough of the politically correct nonsense.

  • Gary W. Dolgin
    24 June 2015, 01:58

    Simply love most of the Comments---at least the all the ones in sympathy with my jihad of Always Rooting for the Critters. ALWAYS.
    the human disease who slaughters for stupidity, hubris, vanity are vermin to be extirpated. ALL wildlife traffickers should be EXECUTED:
    Every poacher, every smuggler, every, trader, every seller, every buyer.
    Kill them all and their families. No hesitation. No compunction. No exemption. They've committed capital ecological murder and their deaths is a public and environmental service.

  • Suphal Dasgupta
    02 July 2015, 21:21

    My vision is crystal clear:
    Shoot the Animals with a camera
    [without disturbing them]
    Shoot the Poachers with a GUN

  • Anonymous commenter
    07 July 2015, 18:09

    Can I join? Saving Rhinos lives while shooting the monsters who hunt them, sign me up!!!

  • Michen Thuemer
    22 July 2015, 20:08

    I know this is somewhat off-topic, but still related...
    It is immoral that we are seeing the top global couture designers bringing FUR back onto the runways...AGAIN. Historically, fur served a purpose to keep indigenous peoples warm. In 2015, it is clearly not necessary and we are long overdue for that disgusting and barbaric trend to go away. It is incomprehensible how fashion brands, designers, anyone who buys fur in the current time can live with themselves. Where is the shame? The ironically backwards thinking of supposedly fashion forward couture...Let's see more design creativity with Gore-Tex and sustainable fabrics and promoting these textiles into couture status...and less looking in the rearview mirror.

  • Glennis E. James
    01 August 2015, 00:43

    I am an animal lover, I don't even eat animals, but it's horrifying to hear people advocating the taking of a human life for any reason other than self defense. As people are making these comments on their computers, I'm sure their lives are a lot more cushy than many of those who wind up poaching. Things might not be so black and white when your children crying for food. Ending proverty would go a long way to ending poaching. And let's go after those who purchase these things and create a market for these illegal items. Also, let's go after rich people who go to Africa to poach like that American dentist who killed that lion in South Africa. Prison for poachers? Yes. Self defense? Yes. Murder? No!

  • kim
    02 August 2015, 16:58

    It is time for ALL poachers to be shot on site. Whether it is a rhino in Africa or a game animal in the United States, poaching needs to end, and I think that the only thing that will get the message through is a total shoot on site policy. And for those of you who hunt for food, it is the poachers that give real, ethical hunters who actually respect wildlife, a bad name.(and I grew up on eating wild game, but poaching was not acceptable- you knew you would be turned in by your own family in a heartbeat if you ever poached. Also you only killed what you ate or you put the weapon away.)

    And for those saying that things would be different if your kid was crying from hunger....I'm so tired of that excuse. There are hunting seasons, there are, in some areas, animals that have no season on them (which is unfortunate) and if you live near the water (I'm talking world wide now.....not just Africa), you can also fish. So today, there is no reason to have to poach for food. Sorry!

  • Glennis James
    05 August 2015, 13:10

    I wonder what many people in their comfortable homes talking about shooting human beings would resort to if they were suddenly thrown into desperate poverty. I don't condone poaching. However, the response has to be reasoned and not fanatical.

  • Anonymous commenter
    18 October 2015, 21:28

    Shoot to kill should honestly be the last option or at least shoot to wound, maybe there should be a law passed of armed trespassing with a minimum sentence of 10 years or something so it removes the need of evidence/belief upon no reasonable doubt for the more substantial charges requiring more evidence. Wildlife has just as much right to exist on this planet as that stupid animal called humanity. I would gladly put a bullet through some poachers head then let it take the life of an elephant or other animals that are heading closely towards extinction.

  • Anonymous commenter
    27 October 2015, 01:24

    I agree that poachers should be severely punished, but death is really cruel, aren't you sort of a hypocrite when you kill somebody for killing something?

  • Cassio
    30 October 2015, 14:22

    Shoot to kill the poachers, no mercy! And also kill the ones who finance the hunt to later buy ivory and horns.

  • Joseph
    04 November 2015, 06:48

    Who may I fund to kill poachers as their first intervention? No arrests. No prisons. No fines. Just dead poachers.

  • Peepsfanatic
    19 November 2015, 15:42

    I believe that yes, the poachers should have a severe punishment like the death penalty, because animal cruelty is just as bad as any form of abuse. Why should an innocent animal have to suffer at the expense of a greedy poacher? People need to take action! We jail child abusers, why should animal cruelty be just a slap on the wrist?! I say kill the poachers off until there's none left.

  • Anonymous commenter
    01 February 2016, 01:25

    It's the ivory traders themselves who need to be put into prison. Along with a worldwide ban on ivory. Then it would end.

  • Jon
    08 February 2016, 13:04

    How about some actual TRUTH for once. There are now 7 Billion hominids of different species in the world today. Poachers almost exclusively come from groups that are breeding out of control. Destroying habitat and everything around them. By default the sheer ignorance of poachers of bear etc… include them in the same category. It's little wonder that the world's pestilence and pandemics are coming from these areas. I fully advocate and would volunteer to shoot poachers on sight. Dr. Richard Leakey advocated and implemented this strategy in 1960's Kenya. Traffickers, transporters, corrupt officials, store owners selling or profiting from these abominations should be shot in raids, if captured tried and hanged, all assets seized. The seizing of assets in addition to harsh and lengthy prison terms for the buyers. A few good examples and they'll just take Viagra. Everyone in the entire chain from poacher to final consumer are committing crimes against humanity. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Or we can just wring our hands in despair as the cure for cancer and the last Think is murdered.

  • Diego Soto
    10 February 2016, 01:51

    Just read an article about lethal force being used to deter poachers, Good! Now to find donations groups to keep these snipers fed and warm. If there are no channels already in place, listen up entrepreneurs! (Seeing as philanthropy is big business…) Even with minimal donations (per park), there could be an established reward per negative quota. As in, if there are no killings in one week: $40 bonus. Two Weeks without killings: $80. Three weeks: $120. One Month: $300 per sniper. Incentives work. That’s how the Private Sector works, just apply it to “Lethal Force Conservation efforts and results will abound. And obviously, like the Red Cross, you keep $$$ for “administration costs”. Great pay for those with a love for their natural heritage or even Ex-Soldiers, adding lesser risk vs. working for some warlord/smuggler/politician/etc. Just like Executive Outcomes, DYNCorp, BlackWater, etc. Less of a margin, but for a good cause.

  • Dr. Leslie Dean Brown
    16 February 2016, 09:03

    If you want to stop poaching entirely, simply place a bounty on well-known poacher's heads. Once the price of a poacher's head is more valuable than an elephant's tusk, this will lead to poachers poaching themselves.

    I realise this is a grisly subject, but those are my thoughts.
    "I have spoken"

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 February 2016, 10:43

    It is amazing the passion that is shown for these animals just in these comments. It is an immoral and unforgivable thing to kill a rhino and therefore I do believe they should be punished. However, killing a person is a major step towards inhumanity. How can we expect others to be humane towards animals when we cannot even be humane to each other? It is important to consider the impoverished, harsh and unbearably difficult situations from which most of these poachers come. This DOES NOT justify their actions, however, there is a difference between justification and understanding. It is important to understand the opposition in order to counter it. Let us have compassion for that of which we don't understand. It is shocking and surprising to see the amount of bloodlust that can be built up when there is such little comprehension of these people's situations and the reasons behind their actions. This will perhaps allow their motivations, if not their actions, to be reasonable.

  • Mike
    27 February 2016, 19:05

    I read all the philosophy and profound thoughts posted above.
    It is more than apparent none if any of those Plato wanna bee's have any clue what a street fight this is.

  • Anonymous commenter
    14 March 2016, 12:22

    Listen its time to take matters into the hands of the private sector and relieve all Government bodies from been involved in all forms of Wild Life as that is where the ROTT starts.

  • dean
    12 April 2016, 02:09

    this shoot to kill policy against poachers could be self funding-
    as the new form of"big game trophy hunting"- with the skull of each shot poacher being the trophy.
    a wealthy skilled marksman could end up with enough poacher skulls to decorate his tree like it was christmas!

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 April 2016, 19:07

    When a poacher is shot but is still alive the shooter should tell them that their bones will be ground up into powder and sold to chinese man who believes in hocus pocus magic medicine

  • Michelle
    29 April 2016, 14:29

    Poachers do it not for food but for easy money. Promised that they will get a "huge" sum if they can get a rhino's horn or elephant's tusk.

    I'm disappointed that shooting a poacher is the last option. First option should be "shoot the m-facker in the face. Last option: Repeat first option.

  • Anonymous commenter
    29 April 2016, 22:17

    I had a friend back in the 80s who worked as a mercenary for the Kenyan Government, although both he and the Kenyan Govt would deny this if asked. His job was to kill poachers, mostly Ugandans and Tanzanians. He walked the game preserves with a sniping rifle and two Masai trackers. And when they came across any other armed people in the game preserve, he killed them. We were both ex-military, and understood that this was done to protect the Kenyan tourist industry. But to this day I feel what he was doing was correct, even if the reasons for it happening weren't the same as mine.

  • Matthew
    05 May 2016, 01:57

    A thousand poachers are not worth the life of one animal.

  • Courtney
    05 May 2016, 21:50

    Poachers have to know that they could be killed by an animal, so why is it different for a human to kill them? Not saying that death is the best option, but how many times will this happen before all of the endangered animals are extinct?!?

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 May 2016, 21:00

    The best way to stop the poaching of rhinos and elephants is to
    castrate the poachers. Stop them in their tracks.

  • Pootis
    02 June 2016, 22:19

    Geez, just domesticate some rhinos, and farm them.

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 June 2016, 12:24

    Shoot to kill! Make them afraid.

  • Truthsayer
    17 June 2016, 23:49

    Black rhinos are now extinct..... Humans are not going extinct.... hell even scumbags and [ deleted ] are not going extinct!! (Sadly)
    The fact is ALL life has the right to live free of bonds and oppression without fearing for their lives or the lives of their children but until the general public gets over their human infatuation and takes our species off the absurd pedestal we consider ourselves the top of this will continue, Over and over and OVER again, so either re educate or let us fund shoot to kill charities, that's how I found this page, I'm looking to protect all life who do you think represents my polar opposite? also if you eat meat, eggs, or consume any animal products and claim to have an issue with poaching or any other acts of animal barbarism you are Total [ deleted ] Hypocrite, grow a god damn brain!

  • Mark
    18 June 2016, 02:51

    Any Chinese person caught with or ingesting in any way endangered animal parts should be whipped, imprisoned, and ostracized from society. In severe or habitual cases they should be be neutered. This nationalities habits and myths alone are responsible for over 60 % of of the poached Elephants, hippos, bears, snakes etc, ect

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 July 2016, 08:13

    This is a no brainer. Strip out the "humans are special and separate from nature" sentiment of the question and here is the real question. Should an overpopulated, destructive species be allowed to kill off a defenseless endangered species because they find a sense of pleasure (not any true medicinal use, not its well being, not its survival) in owning the endangered species' ground up body parts.

    If you seriously think that a human being is so special that it's life is more valuable somehow, or that it has the right to annihilate another species for status or entertainment, then i suggest you become the best hunter in the world and follow your bliss by first practicing on any and all of your progeny and then doing one last test to see if the bullets taste funny when they are propelled out the barrel.

  • Archie
    17 July 2016, 07:17

    What if someone is mistaken for a poacher?

    I'm not a fan of the death penalty but if the death penalty is decided upon as a sentence it should be through due process of law. Of course I support the right for authorities to return fire if threatened. But allowing them to shoot anyone and everyone they suspect of poaching inevitably means that people mistaken for poachers will be killed.

    So many comments here and comments pertaining to other issues have taught me over the years that when people are angry enough they forget that mistakes can be made and assume that the good guys fighting the bad guys have some sort of omniscient sense that prevents them from mistaking an innocent person for being one of the bad guys. Remember that the people who are entrusted with stopping the poachers are human beings, and human beings make mistakes. Some of those people acquitted for poaching may have truly been innocent. Of course I recognize that some who are acquitted may have been guilty and got away with it because of a lack of equipment to ascertain evidence. The best way to address this is by giving governments the resources they need to investigate the incident more thoroughly.

  • Martin
    19 July 2016, 07:02

    This one sticking-point (shoot-to-kill) is the reason the primary school where I teach cannot promote your organisation, despite many children wanting to raise money for it.

  • Melinda Barrington
    01 September 2016, 16:10

    I support and encourage the killing of poachers.

  • Anonymous commenter
    06 September 2016, 18:37

    Where do i sign up? No really where?? Dream job!

  • Anonymous commenter
    08 September 2016, 21:25

    The overwhelming consensus is to strike fear into the poachers so that the money incentive becomes much weaker compared to the deterrent effect from fear of suffering a painful death ( as they inflict upon the animals they hunt ) - strong advertising of the reality of shooting poachers should be posted as a high-probability outcome along with the anguish it causes to their family to help keep this poaching from happening.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 September 2016, 13:11

    If we treat our planet as an living organizm and all the living beeings on it as cells of wich each one performs a certain task....then the tasks wich poachers perform are the same as the one cancer does....and the anti-poachers tasks are more like antibodies for it.

  • Christian
    23 September 2016, 14:25

    It's far too late in the game for diplomacy. It is a war zone.
    MURDER the poachers, their heinous employers and the dim-witted trinket collectors. Boil them alive like they do the poor dogs in the darkest corners of Asia. Count me in. I would give up everything to drag these ghoulish criminals into the scorching cauldrons. Trust me I found these postings by this google search of mine - who can I donate money to that kills poachers?
    Anyone know of such a competent charity?

  • Night Haunter
    26 September 2016, 19:52

    No, they shouldn't be shot on sight. They should be crucified, gutted, and lit on fire.

  • Al Baker
    01 October 2016, 21:14

    Absolutely distraught and angry with the actions of poachers and rich hunters from all over wanting a trophy of an rhino elephant or tiger etc. I hope and pray poachers everywhere and their loved ones die horrible agonising deaths as well as the scum bags that demand ivory. Would happily set fire to these mugs. Rangers keep up the good work!

  • Anonymous commenter
    07 October 2016, 02:08

    Someone posted earlier 'hunting a poacher would be a dream job'. I was thinking beyond that...a dream business to host hunters that hunt poachers. All proceeds gained for the privilege go to the rangers.

  • Anonymous commenter
    07 October 2016, 17:45

    Mr. Baker, I agree 100%. I think we should (and there will be a healthy following) start a club like that of the rich hunters that travel thousands of miles and spent thousands of monies to travel to these destinations to shoot and kill these amazing creatures as trophies on their walls. Only they don't hunt animals. Instead, the sick poachers and gangs that promote poaching. There will be no "trophies" as in the ones people hang on their walls. Merely Acknowledgements and Satisfaction of a job well done.

    If we put together a group of individuals that are trained at tracking and hunting, like many people have commented on above. They could work as a private entity of a foreign company that enlists the help and repays the respect of the SANParks officers and rangers and everyone that is on the ground making a difference already, to help stop this grotesque practise.

    Companies with surveillance equipment, Bugs with GPS tracking, weapons, NVG, Traps, etc...

    You get the idea...

  • A K
    08 December 2016, 22:24

    Poaching needs to be discouraged more strongly. The offenders need to be crucified and disemboweled, and left to die by the side of the road for nature to feast on.

  • Unhappy Fox
    22 December 2016, 20:19

    That sounds like a wonderful job, I'd wish I found a poacher around if that was my job, I'd aim for the head, and put a big ol' .50 round through it.
    Leave a nice mess for some animal to clean up.

  • Anonymous commenter
    03 January 2017, 07:03

    Shoot to kill! This would discourage the individual to poach for money!

  • Carl
    05 January 2017, 20:14

    While it's unfortunate it comes down to shooting a person I strongly believe it must be done. The current laws aren't strict enough to deter these felons. If it was, they wouldn't be there killing these beautiful animals. Shoot to kill is the only deterrent they really fear. While is painful, it's absolutely necessary.

  • Anonymous commenter
    13 January 2017, 19:17

    Hi all,

    One side of the scale is that if we let them go extinct (all these great mammals; elephant; rhino; lion; tiger; giraffe; ...) ecosystems will be irreversible affected, in ways we understand to be catastrophic and with ripple effects we may never fully perceive, until its too late.
    On the other side of the scale, opening the opportunity for, and actively engaging in, "permanently removing" the poachers will inevitably bring about unjust killings and persecutions; some will not be real poachers, some "poacher hunters" will be criminals trying to further their agendas.

    Much can be said for both sides, but first consider this:
    - Do we really have a shortage of humans? Must we always and in all circumstances value human lives above all others, when ecologically, a elephant or a rhino play such an important role?
    - Witch side of the scale has no return possible?

    Once we loose a specie, it is forever. We should accept, the sooner the better, that we must significantly and unequivocally harden the war against the criminal gunmen, the enriching criminal officials, the criminal superstitious users of the criminal trade of our planets co-inhabitants body parts.

    Either we do that, or we are just helping in digging our graves deeper, faster and wider.

    So, yes, I would be even inclined to open the door to private volunteers to assist in the "permanent removal" of this entire supply chain by divulging publicly all their identities (poachers, officials, transport agents, international receptors, final users).

    Not for "Save the Rhino", since they are bound by those legal issues regarding human life an'all, but for the "entrepreneur" in all of us:
    Just star doing something. "Intervene" wherever possible. We should know some of the names that come up the chain after the poachers by now and talking and debating is all really pretty, but will not do nothing for our future now.

  • Miles Rhino Saver
    01 March 2017, 20:53

    Yes we need to do anything we can to protect these endangered animals! We should shoot to kill so we can completely eradicate the poachers. If you do shoot to kill the other poachers will get scared and will stop poaching for a while, and in that time we should be able to get the rhino population up.

  • Nick
    02 March 2017, 16:01

    Rhino's are the warriors of the animal kingdom. They fight for protection and our most endangered creature. Please with everything in our power, promise me that we will never side with the disgusts that we call poachers!!!!

  • Luke Gls
    05 March 2017, 09:54

    Kill every poacher scum there is. Make their kind dissapear from the face of the Earth.

  • We're A Virus With Shoes
    10 March 2017, 19:56

    The swift and immediate execution to all humans involved in this horrific harvest - from the poacher to the end consumer and everyone in between.

  • Tony
    15 March 2017, 10:47

    I really like these coments, just about everyone of you supports killing poachers on site. I for one would also love to do this and have been researching for hours on how I can join the fight and help rid the world of these monsters.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 March 2017, 15:00

    You do realize that some of rhino casualties aren't just from humans. Some come from diseases or injury from a predator. Although some humans are poachers, some people kill them to save them. If 1 rhino in captivity with 50 other rhinos got a contagious disease, if it spread, it could kill all the rhinos in that santuary. We can help rhinos... even if it puts them out of misury

  • Doomed by their own logic
    16 March 2017, 16:05

    Well let's use poacher logic. The rarer the animal the more valuable they are. Well there are 7 Billion humans on the Earth. By their logic their lives aren't worth much. Death to the poachers.

  • ree
    20 March 2017, 10:22

    I would argur that it is completely moral and ethical to shhot an armed poacher....wether proactively or in self defense.....a gun is a weopon used to kill...any person who has armed themselves with a gun should do so knowing that their readiness to take life...also,robs them of the protection morality has placed on their lives

  • ujjaini ghosh
    22 March 2017, 02:16

    Kill the poachers in the worst way possible . They do not deserve to live.

  • Anonymous commenter
    07 April 2017, 02:17

    poor elephanties

  • Wayne Hodge
    26 April 2017, 11:38

    The problem of elephant tusks and rhino horn poaching has been an issue for many years, and we seem to get no further at solving it. Maybe, just maybe, we should let these animals go the way of the dinosaur.....extinct.
    We have shown that even in a zoo these creatures are not safe, and if we cannot give the safe and secure environment in a zoo, what hope is there in the wild ? The countries goverment have agreed that poaching these animals is acceptable by failing to punish by death the poachers. Termination of humans who kill elephants and rhino, and put humans as well, should be manitory. The world's over populated by man so the death sentence is not going to put mankind in any danger of extinction .
    Sorry, but extinction of these animals might be the sad answer.

  • Anonymous commenter
    30 April 2017, 22:37

    Guys, don't castrate other humans. You'd be legit Hitler......

    09 May 2017, 14:30

    “Why was an animal’s life worth more than my son’s?”
    Because there are 7 BILLION people like your son who are less valuable than the animal he kills. Without any real value at all, sad to say.
    We humans are so vain & arrogant, believing we are the Chosen Ones when actually we are the destroyers of nature. Humility is NOT a common human quality.

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 May 2017, 18:46

    The problem is stupidity, ignorance or simple exploitative greed among practitioners of traditional medicine in Vietnam and elsewhere, as well as the vanity of the wealthy who use the horns as decoration. They drive the industry. Poachers are scumbags, but they aren't doing it for the lulz. They're doing it for money, and they wouldn't have a job without the demand.

    End users of the horns need to be prosecuted.

  • Gary
    14 May 2017, 21:14

    I'd say by the overwhelming response that all poachers any where need to be terminated. I would love to have such a job, it would at least make me feel that I'm giving back and making some amends for being a human.
    I've spent my life in the outdoors and can pretty much see that wildlife doesn't have a chance against the onslaught of just the overbreeding of humans much less the slaughter of wildlife for cash. And the peoples of countries like china and korea need to be called on the carpet for what they have done and what they are doing. It's a whole lot worse now that China has gone capitalist and has all the money.
    I've spent most of my 60 years in the outdoors and I've never once been anywhere on this planet and thought, "gee, I wish there were more people here". But everywhere I go, whether its on land or sea, I'm seeing the
    disappearance of wildlife. The way I see it, the life of one rhino is worth the lives of 500 poachers and the people who buy the ivory. The life of an elephant , say 1,000. Life of a polar bear, say another 500 etc, etc.
    We were given a jewel of a planet that you'll never find if you could travel for a thousand years in space. And in the soon to come end, we've mowed it down, concreted it and turned it into a human baby making machine and that all that's going to be left. I'm so glad I'm not of the current generation and have had the opportunity to see what was once here.

  • trey
    24 May 2017, 11:03

    Max' comment I have unfortunately READ all your ANGry COMMENTS concerning Poachers, GREAT!! So may someone please tell Me WHY are we all upset with RHINO POACHERS? these poachers live on $2 a day (as SAD as it is, i can understand their temptation where they have families to feed.) If a SNAKE BItes You on a repeditive basis Do you keep chopping off itsTAIL? of course not!! (becuase we all know as anyone whose familiar with Snakes knows he'll Grow another one) THE Snakes HEAD MUST TO BE REMOVED AT ALL COSTS your PROBLEM is NOW SOLVED! The CHInese, {not all} (and other Wealthy SCUM) ARISTOCRATS and Oligarchs will continue to FUND this UNGODLY practice for this so-called Herbal remedy they USE FOR HEALING AND CURES.Why dont we take the Inititive and start FUNDING the Practise or Harvestation of PANDA EARS or their Heads?( We the FEW, the Considerate.have an OBLIGATION to NATURE and our FUTURE OFFSPRING that will INHERIT this BEAUTIFUL PLANET with all it has to offer, TO PROTECT IT and all its SPECIES GREAT AND SMALL. ESPECIALLY the GReat RHino.beginning with GLOBAL MEDIA AWareness. (Sanctioning African Governments that accept Bribes,DEMONSTRATIONS at GREAT Portland street CHINA's EMBASSY LONDON on a Continuous basis. till they get the MESSAGE! ADdress HRH Prince Charles. as he is a DEVOUTt Supporter of Saving the Great RHINO. Organise a Global Covert Team with serving/civilian and retired members of the Military and Intelligence Communities. with a capable Etraction Team to enter any Country and remove those responsible for the atrocities and make them accountable.

    what are you on about, max? poachers should be shot

  • Anonymous commenter
    24 May 2017, 16:07

    trey's comment to Max' comment I have unfortunately READ all your ANGry COMMENTS concerning Poachers, GREAT!! So may someone please tell Me WHY are we all upset with RHINO POACHERS? these poachers live on $2 a day (as SAD as it is, I can understand their temptation where they have families to feed.) If a SNAKE Bites You on a repetitive basis Do you keep chopping off itsTAIL? of course not!! (because we all know as anyone whose familiar with Snakes knows he'll Grow another one) THE Snakes HEAD MUST BE REMOVED AT ALL COSTS your PROBLEM is NOW SOLVED! The Chinese, {not all} (and other Wealthy SCUM) ARISTOCRATS and Oligarchs will continue to FUND this UNGODLY practice for this so-called Herbal remedy they USE FOR HEALING AND CURES.Why don't we take the Initiative and start FUNDING the Practise or Harvestation of PANDA EARS or their Heads?( We the FEW, the Considerate.have an OBLIGATION to NATURE and our FUTURE OFFSPRING that will INHERIT this BEAUTIFUL PLANET with all it has to offer, TO PROTECT IT and all its SPECIES GREAT AND SMALL. ESPECIALLY the Great RHino.beginning with GLOBAL MEDIA Awareness. (Sanctioning African Governments that accept Bribes, ADdressDEMONSTRATIONS at GREAT Portland street CHINA's EMBASSY LONDON on a Continuous basis. till they get the MEAddress HRH Prince Charles. as he is a DEVOUTt Supporter of Saving the Great RHINO. Organize a Global Covert Team with serving/civilian and retired members of the Military and Intelligence Communities. with a capable Extraction, Team to enter any Country and remove those responsible for the atrocities and make them accountable.

    what are you on about, max? poachers should be shot

    I added: I can't believe he would possibly say that. I HAVE TO AGREE THAT ANYONE WHO IS GOING TOO KILL SHOULD BE KILLED. anyone who is let free again is going to poach again because if they just go to jail and get let out they will probably think that "oh it's not that bad. and I earn a lot of money!" so please kill the poachers please, please, please.

  • Anonymous commenter
    15 August 2017, 22:56

    To all those who are clamouring for the extrajudicial killing of the poachers, should all the "legal" trophy hunters be also shot and killed. Or are trophy hunters less barbaric than the poachers because they can afford to kill the rhinos and elephants for fun and ivory and not for the money?

  • Rinique
    22 August 2017, 09:37

    It's quite simple : kill or be killed.

    etc etc etc

    GET RID OF ALL IDOTS who think a 'human' life (money) is worth more than any animal (nature)

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 October 2017, 05:00

    I wonder how many people that are saying "kill all poachers" have ever never lived in a famine stricken country and seen their brothers sisters or children die because they have no money and nothing to eat. I also wonder how many people would take a western medication that has been tested on (and probably killed) captive monkeys which is completely legal and common. I wonder why that is considered different or subject to less outrage than is than killing a rhino for an eastern medicine.

    For the record, I do not stand on the side of the poachers. However, I think before anyone devalues or calls to end any human life, they must consider all aspects.

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 October 2017, 05:11

    Also, before you all decide you're the moral compass who gets to decide who lives and dies, STOP [ deleted ] DRIVING YOUR CAR. The current African drought (climate change anyone?) has killed loads more wildlife this year than poachers. So please, consider YOUR habits before you decide that you are right and others are wrong.

  • Anonymous commenter
    20 October 2017, 05:16

    Let me start by saying that I love humanity; but when criminals of a species that number in the billions are taking the lives of those that number in the thousands, they are a serious threat to the genetic health of populations.
    Removing the poachers from our gene pool is like a drop in the ocean and only a benefit to humanity. Current tactics seem to accomplish little..we MUST make poaching not "worth the risk".

  • Andre Sousa
    20 October 2017, 13:14

    How can I join to Save Rhino ? I mean, I want to be in South Africa with the troop to hunt Rhino poachers. The first one I capture, I want to chop his nose off with my blade and use to decorate my home as a award.
    How can I join?

  • myrddin
    19 November 2017, 05:00

    the simple answer is not the ivory , or the poachers . dye the ivory with multiple colors that can be tracked where ever it goes ... and ownership is a assins bullet , to have it is death . start a fund to pay for the anonymus killing of dyed ivory .... where ever , when ever it is found... ah , the answer is much easier .... rhino burgers .... when the whole beast is a product , it pays to farm them , cattle have value , cattle russeling is illegal , and results in bad people being shot and killed .... the only way to actualy save these creatures , is to monitize .... or prioritize what your goals really are .

  • Anonymous commenter
    17 January 2018, 13:04

    God, some people can be edgy.

  • Anonymous commenter
    30 January 2018, 10:07

    I like rhinos.

  • Anonymous commenter
    12 February 2018, 14:22

    Personally i don't think that poachers should be shot onsite, unless there is no other option in a situation which endangers the rhino or the park rangers. Other methods must be put in place to make sure that poachers get longer sentences and are not released on bail.

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