Target: Chief Magistrate’s Court at Narok, Republic of Kenya
Goal: Applaud $1 million fine or life in prison for two men caught possessing and selling illegal ivory.
Two men convicted of the possession and sale of illegal ivory products are facing the toughest-ever sentence handed down by a Kenyan court. The men will be expected to pay a fine of 1 million Kenyan shillings (around $1 million USD) or face life imprisonment. This ruling is refreshing in contrast to the usual “slap-on-the-wrist” fines handed down to poachers in the country by magistrates who some suspect are being paid off by the ivory industry.
Poaching is a multi-million dollar industry in Kenya and poses a serious threat to already-struggling elephant populations. In a 25-year period, the country’s elephant population has seen a staggering 90 percent decline. While some national parks in Kenya have successfully managed to increase and protect elephant populations, poachers are turning to increasingly brutal and effective tactics that have resulted in an exponential increase in the loss of elephants all over Africa.
Poachers are now using improved methods and modern technology in order to kill the largest amounts of elephants possible at one time. Some have poisoned entire watering holes, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of animals at a time. Others have resorted to high-powered automatic weapons to mow down entire herds of wandering elephants from vehicles.
Elephants all over Africa are facing a serious threat from poaching, which could wipe out populations entirely within the next decade. In order to stop this, it is imperative that African countries crack down on poachers and those who sell illegal ivory. Sign the petition below to applaud the court’s tough stance against poaching, which will serve as a strong deterrent to similar crimes in the future.
Dear Chief Magistrate’s Court at Narok,
For the possession and sale of illegal ivory products, two men were recently given the choice between a fine of one million Kenyan shillings or life in prison, the toughest sentence a Kenyan court has ever handed down for a crime of this type. This ruling is a stark contrast to many other poaching cases in Kenya, where those who sell ivory face insignificant token fines.
Poaching is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide and is the single biggest threat to elephant populations in Africa. Without serious efforts from lawmakers, authorities, and courts, elephants could become extinct from African countries within the next decade. We, the undersigned, applaud your tough stance against poaching and urge you to continue handing down punishments that reflect the urgency of Kenya’s poaching problem.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Peter H. Wredge