Some experts believe that wild animals are lashing back against those poachers who traumatized them — in other words, getting their revenge.
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The Daily Mail
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After centuries of poachers breaking into their protected wildlife areas, cutting off rhino horns or elephant tusks, and leaving their bodies rotting in the sun, the animals are fighting back.
Poaching has horrific consequences on the long-term survival of wild animals, and in some cases has contributed to the dwindling of endangered species. Elephant populations are decreasing, as the illegal ivory trade continues against weak law enforcement.
Big game reserves and park rangers have made attempts to stop poaching and trophy hunting. Game reserves have cracked down on poaching, forcing hunters to enter parks illegally or under cover of darkness in order to hunt. Rangers have put forth “shoot-on-sight” policies, allowing rangers to shoot those they suspect of poaching within park borders. Even zoos have heightened their security after desperate poachers began to break and kill the captive animals.
But it’s not just humans who have taken a stand to these poachers. According to some experts, the animals might be joining the fight too.
Animal psychologist Gay Bradshaw believes that poachers do more than just kill. They traumatize animals. The threat of human beings invading their homes, whether it is to cut off and sell parts of their bodies or to set up cities on their territory, leaves the animals desperate. Survival becomes a violent struggle, and the animals start to lash out.
Bradshaw, who specializes in elephants, says that elephant attacks have dramatically risen over the last few decades. In just four years in the Indian state of Jharkhand alone, 300 people were killed in elephant attacks. Bradshaw says:
“The relationship between elephants and people has dramatically changed. What we are seeing today is extraordinary. Where for centuries humans and elephants lived in relatively peaceful coexistence, there is now hostility and violence.”
But it’s not just elephants. More and more, reports of animals fighting back against poachers have been emerging. Packs of lions attacking sleeping hunting camps, rhinos charging unsuspecting hunters, and tigers targeting and hunting human prey out of what can only be considered revenge.
Perhaps the animals have simply been pushed too far. But with every year, more wild animals are taking their welfare into their own hands and striking back at poachers — and it’s left, in many cases, a bloody mess.
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