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September 2, 2013 / V A Nichols

Of Badgers and Elephants…and Coyotes

“There will always be the poachers [or trappers] who will do anything for money, but they have to be countered by ordinary people, like you, who care enough about wildlife to dedicate time and energy to save it.” 

Coyote Trapping Sign Inverness 2013  HandsOffOurElephants

(click on images to see them larger)

Us humans are a funny old bunch. We choose the battles that we fight with no consistency. This, in itself is fine, though, as we are all individuals and we each have our own thought processes, so its probably obvious that this is how it will be.

In the hills and dales of rural Britain now, the badger cull is splitting communities. The badger, for years, was seen as one of the highlights of British wildlife. In fact, badgers have even been a part of the British literary scene for as long as I can remember. Mr Badger was an important figure in Kenneth Grahame’s chlidhood classic “Wind in the Willows” which was a book that I enjoyed immensely as a child.

Fast forward to 2013 and the badger population of Britain is facing a cull because badgers are being accused of passing Bovine Tuberculosis to the commercial cattle stock of England. In an attempt to curb this, 5000 badgers will be killed.

Badgers are not on the wild life endangered list in Britain, their numbers are healthy, so 5000 of them being killed will not lead to their extinction, however there is uproar amongst conservationists and ordinary people there. Communities are being split down the middle, divided into “pro and anti” badger groups, it really is amazing to watch. Amazing that people care about an animal that is not facing extinction in any way, shape of form. People are literally putting themselves in the line of fire to protect Mr Badger.

In Kenya, our wildlife is facing bigger issues than the badger. While there are many areas of our wildlife eco-system are under threat, poaching threatens the very existence of the Elephant and Rhino here. I wish that people here would be as angry and upset about that fact as people in the UK are about Mr Badger. Whilst most of mankind is busy finding reasons to hate each other, we need to find ways to protect our wild life resources. Not just because of the economic benefits that wildlife tourism brings Kenya, but because its just the right thing to do. It really is that simple. There will always be the poachers who will do anything for money, but they have to be countered by ordinary people, like you, who care enough about wildlife to dedicate time and energy to save it.

Its a complex situation and I don’t have the answers, but I’ll use the relatively small influence that I have to tell you to get involved.


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