War and Wildlife

The human tragedy of war is horrific. It must be the first concern in any conflict.

The cost to wildlife however can often be tremendous as is noted by a recent story in Yahoo News regarding wholesale wildlife slaughter in warring Sudan.

Nairobi (AFP) – Warring factions in South Sudan have slaughtered, poached and eaten “alarming” numbers of endangered wildlife, devastating one of Africa’s largest migrations, conservationists warned Wednesday.

Government and rebel troops, locked into a war marked by widespread atrocities in which tens of thousands of people have been killed, are pushing elephants to the brink of extinction in the young nation, said Paul Elkan from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Elephants have been slaughtered for their tusks, while giraffe and antelope have been mowed down with machine guns for meat to feed the tens of thousands of soldiers and rebels battling each other since December.

“It is a tragedy, the conflict is having a terrible impact,” Elkan told AFP from Juba, where he works with the government to set up parks and protect the wildlife.

“South Sudan’s war weary elephants are now at a precipice, and the ongoing fighting threatens to push them ever closer towards national extinction.”

As stories from around the world announce extinctions and threats to wildlife, pay special attention. Wars are a growing reason and make wildlife conservation efforts virtually impossible.

It’s an area that needs serious prayer-for the people and also for the wildlife.

Chester Moore, Jr.

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