While over-tourism has become a major concern for certain parts of the world, there is one advantage, protecting animals from poachers. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, tourism has stopped. As a result, rhino poaching is now occurring every day.
In particular, South Africa and Botswana have seen a tremendous increase in Rhino poaching this year. And the absence of tourists has made it even easier for poachers to move around unnoticed.
In fact, Botswana has reported that in the last 10 months, almost 50 Rhinos have been killed. That’s 10% of the total Rhino population in the country. There are far more cases of poaching than this, though, because it is possible for the Rhino to survive having its horn removed if they can get the necessary aid.
How Do Tourists Help Stop Poachers?
You may be wondering exactly how tourism stops poachers, but it actually plays a huge role in preventing poachers from moving around freely.
Think about it for a moment, are you going to target a Rhino that is in the path or eyesight of hundreds of tourists?
This has kept Rhinos and other endangered species safe from these poachers for years.
On top of the actual security they add by just being there, tourism also largely fund conservative efforts and attract donations from the crowds. This helps support local organizations to prevent poaching on a larger scale.
Proof That Animal Protection is Not Good Enough
Ultimately, this worldwide shutdown has proven one thing. The level of animal protection that is currently being used is not enough on its own. Countries that have to contend with poachers need to do more.
While having zero tourists is something that most agencies would never consider, tourism in Africa is almost a $40 billion dollar industry. It relies too heavily on the tourists to act as a way to mediate poaching.