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Historical

Why Haven't We Put An End To Poaching In Africa Yet?

Terry Anderson, Executive Director of P.E.R.C. (Property Environment and Research Center) talks about Marty Anderson, an entrepreneur in Kenya who managed a successful hunting operation around the time that hunting was banned, and how the ban surprisingly led to the widespread poaching in that region today.

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"When the hunting stopped, the revenue stopped, he had no people in the field, he didn't have hunters, he didn't have guides, he didn't have the natives getting paid to stop poaching."

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Photo Credits : (GettyImages)
Sandra Mu Dan Kitwood Christopher Furlong Ian Walton Pool
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

In the 1970's there was pressure on the Kenya Government, especially pushed by some of the animal welfare groups to stop hunting in Kenya, to ban hunting. And they moved forward with that and managed to implement the ban and as a result, Marty, could no longer hunt. He had no revenues from hunting, he was in fact on his way to the airport to pick up clients when he was told they couldn't hunt. It was done in a day, and that ended it. - And here's the formula, Terry that I need your help to explain to everyone, because the first time you hear it, it's breathtaking. The hunting was banned in Kenya. Banned. On the Galana Ranch, everywhere, you can no longer shoot elephants. The elephants disappeared! How did that happen? - Well, when Marty was running Galana as a livestock and wildlife ranch, and mind you these are not fenced in animals, this was a huge operation, millions of acres, so they weren't fenced in, they were truly wild animals. While he was hunting them he was able to generate enough revenue to prevent poaching. He stopped the slaughter of elephants on the ranch, they were being hunted by some of the natives who were using poisoned arrows and they would take a little bit of meat, maybe the take the tusks, and he incorporated the natives into the management and made them recognize they could make more money if they conserved the elephants, so he had five to six thousand elephants on his property. five to six thousand elephants. That's a huge herd! And he protected them from poaching and he made money from people who came and hunted there. When the hunting stopped, the revenue stopped, he had no people in the field, he didn't have hunters, he didn't have guides, he didn't have the natives getting paid to stop poaching and the result was the five to six thousand elephant population plummeted to today, there are virtually no elephants in the area. - And the property now, the Kenyan Government was the idea that they were going to make it an agricultural success, he writes, they were going to put irrigation in. This is to provide resources for the people who live there and it's not been successful. - No, Marty was employing hundreds of local people again on a profitable, sustainable basis, now the Kenyan government after stopping hunting, wants to subsidize irrigation which is not sustainable in the region, partly because there's no water and partly because there's no infrastructure to do so. And so the people there are going to continue living in subsistence and they will poach because that's the only meat they can get.