Editorial: Animals Are Being Poached for Money

Emma Galvez, Reporter

Elephants, rhinos and tigers are among the most endangered animals on the planet. Each has been legally protected for decades. Yet, they are still being poached in alarming numbers.

The current legal protections are not enough, more armed wildlife rangers need to be hired to protect these endangered animals.  


“30,000 African elephants are still killed by poachers each year, out of a continent-wide population of about 400,000,” said National Geographic. Elephants are being poached because of their tusks and what their tusks are made of. Elephant tusks are made of ivory. They are sold at “$1,800/kg -$18,000 per elephant-wholesale. A 10 kg carved ivory weighs in at $60,000.” said Arew. Most elephants are getting poached in South Africa. After the elephants are poached, many die. 


Rhinos are being hunted for their horns. Their horns are composed primarily of keratin, which is the protein found in human hair and fingernails. Can you believe that people are selling keratin for money even though they have it themselves? Many rhinos are being poached primarily in Africa but only because of the demand for their horns in China and Vein Nam, said Savetherhino. In the last 10 years, more than 8,000 rhinos have been poached, said Savetherhino. Rhino horns sell for $400,000 per kg for Asian rhinos horns, and $20,000 per kg for African rhinos horns, said Rhinorest.  


There are two main reasons why tigers are being poached and becoming extinct. One is their threat to wildlife and/or people. The second one is monetary gain, said SeaWorld. Many tigers are being poached for their furs. Meaning after they are poached there is a low percentage of survival. The tiger fur is being sold for up to $10,000, mainly in Tibet, primarily to people in china. Teeth and claws are also sold, not just their furs, said PoachingFacts. The tiger’s teeth sell for about $430- $21,000 all depending on the size and quality. According to Earth League International. Their claws value about $55 and any type of bone for $1,200 per kilo, Biglife said. 

How to help

There aren’t many things you can do yourself to help with poaching. The most effective thing you can do is donate to organizations that are against poaching. Biglife is an organization that strives to protect all animals. They have over 300 trained rangers to protect the wildlife, and they take donations. Making a small donation can make a big difference.