The story of two Harare men who were found in possession of ivory without a licence to possess such is not a new story.
Whilst this particular story is still subjudice, there are many stories of criminals who were convicted of the crime of possession of ivory.
The sad thing about people who are found in possession of Ivory is for every tusk or two, there is a dead rhino or elephant.
These animals are dying because people want their ivory.
Cases of poaching continue to increase in the country and measures should be taken to root out such evil practices that are threatening to make elephants, rhinos, pangolins and many other endangered animal species extinct.
These acts, against rhinos and elephants mostly, are occurring every other week and the populations of these animals continue to diminish.
The sight of a faceless rhino whose horn has been butchered off its countenance by a heartless poacher is the very personification of cruelty. It is a cruelty that has seen 90 percent of the Zimbabwean Rhino population diminish since 1970.
The rhino, like pythons and pangolins, is fast becoming extinct in Zimbabwe and the world in general.
The increase in rhino poaching, for example, has seen the rhino facing a real danger of extinction. So real is this danger that – if everything continues at this rate – we will see the last rhino die during our generation’s time.
As Zimbabwe, now is the time to start doing something about it. It is up to us as a country – or as Southern Africa – to preserve endangered species and safeguard them from ourselves.
That is a sad irony; that man has become an enemy to his own ecosystem. That, to gain a few dollars, people risk their lives in the wilderness to maim an innocent animal. Medical myths regarding the use of the rhino’s horn have again led many into killing the rhino.
Africa is the world’s last hope of protecting these animals and Zimbabwe should play her part to safeguard them.
And if love for these animals is not there in poachers’ hearts then maybe mandatory jail sentences are the way to go.
Zimbabwe has proactively led in the conservation of endangered species in Africa.
The five rhinoceros species must be protected and countries privileged to still have the animals, like Zimbabwe, should spearhead raising awareness of the threats to their survival.
If we really want, we can protect these unfortunate but beautiful animal species and ensure that our children’s children will still have the pleasure of knowing of their existence.