Arsenal midfielder and Welsh international footballer Aaron Ramsey has posted a number of videos on social media tacking the subject of poaching and the ongoing threat to elephant and rhino populations due to the illegal trade in their tucks and horns respectively.
It's terrible that 100 elephants are killed for ivory every day. Here's what happened when I met some last week… https://t.co/KMNjMYG4rl
— Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) February 17, 2016
The treat to elephants in Africa is very real with 100,000 killed for their ivory in just three years between the years 2010 & 2012 and currently around 100 are killed every day.
Ramsey also covers the myth that rhino horns cure cancer in another of his videos shot during a visit to Colchester Zoo.
Rhinos are being slaughtered because people think their horns cure cancer, but it's a myth and we have to stop it. https://t.co/il7vAMZu8u
— Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) February 18, 2016
Rhinos were once abundant throughout Africa and Asia with an approximated worldwide population of 500 000 in the early twentieth century. However, despite intensive conservation efforts, poaching of this iconic species is dramatically increasing, pushing the remaining rhinos closer and closer towards extinction.
The Western black rhino was declared extinct by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 2011, with the primary cause identified as poaching. In fact, all five remaining rhinos species are listed on the IUCN Redlist of threatened species, with three out of five species classified as critically endangered.
Poachers are not just a threat to animals. Last month in Tanzania, British helicopter pilot Roger Gower was shot at while assisting wildlife rangers, and died before rescue teams could reach him.