It’s taken me a while to digest the death of 9 black rhinos during failed translocation efforts. Until today, we have yet to receive solid information of what happened and even where they are or where the horns are. We need to see the horns before conspiracy starts developing leaves because it already has roots – deep roots. We haven’t even seen the bodies to affirm that indeed they have died. What has happened in this country in terms of conservation? We are watching as everything unfolds bit by bit with no accountable results. When rhinos die because of salt poisoning you tend to ask yourself questions that may not even make any sense to anyone else let alone yourself. A lot has been said in the media both locally and internationally and yet we wait for answers. Waiting for the situation to cool off does not help. Waiting for another scandal to crop up does not help. It only builds on the damage already done.
When we allowed the Chinese to come to our country to aid us in developing our country,
because we don’t have engineers, only leaving us in debt for generations to come, we knew what we were getting ourselves into. Or did we? Someone once told me, ‘where the Chinese go, they leave nothing’. We have chosen to push it off thinking this is our country and nothing bad will happen. Then the Standard Gauge Railway scandal happened, passing right through our National Parks, killing wildlife with it and the loyalty of the Kenyans who work within the SGR.
All this has happened within a month. This month has seen conversations on conservation by many for all the wrong reasons. Are we getting accustomed to all this? Do we have the will to fight? Do young conservationists even have a voice? Do Kenyans themselves have a voice? Do Kenyans actually care about wildlife? Do we treasure our natural resources like our forefathers did?
It’s about to get real.
Development is great but we need to also remember, as the human race is fighting to survive (by force) so are other species. We need not push them to extinction since they have a role to play in the environment which we live and depend on. Why should we get to the point where we think everything is there for us to be used until we get something else to use?
In another note, human-wildlife conflict in Kenya is starting to see the light of day. Not in a good way though. This has been happening for a very long. The victims just stayed silent or the situation never made it to the media as it does today. As lions, hyenas and leopards terrorize residents and herders in Tsavo, Amboseli, Aberdare ecosystems, some will be happy to see a lion crashed by the SGR. In fact, they will be pleased that this is one lion less to worry about. Human wildlife conflict can only be resolved when we solve the needs of those being affected. It does not make any sense to give a family who has lost a child or the bread winner money when the person was there only hope. On this note, we still need to work together, something lacking in most conservation organisations. To work together to reduce human-wildlife conflict and not enhance it. As Trevor Noah in his autobiography Born a Crime says, it does not do any good to teach a man how to fish yet not give him the fishing rode.
Yesterday, 16th July, was World Snake Day. I may not be team Slytherin, I am a true Hufflepuff. However, I’m surprised that I missed this opportunity to share a piece of nature which many regard with fear and not appreciation and respect. I have a friend who deeply does not like snakes. She even refused to watch Sahara, the animated movie, even though I was excited and hoped she would love it, but was faced with a no. Better luck next time. With close to 3400 snakes only about 600 are venomous to humans. Other than facing threats such as being killed when they cross human paths and loss of habitat, trafficking of their beautiful skin is a constant threat. The African python skin, for example, has become an increasingly trafficked snake species because of its skin which looks ravishing as a bag or pair of shoes. What would happen if human skin was used on bags? Snake skin looks much better on snakes, alive. Snakes ensure all the rats we see are exterminated in a natural way.
In the meantime, let the truth be known.
Featured Image © Tony Wild
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