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View Full Version : Information on poaching and the illegal pet trade in Africa wanted



Kinzel
07-18-2016, 09:50 PM
:EDIT: I have encountered another problem. I originally decided that the end point would be South Africa, but I have since changed it to Kenya, and I plan on having Alema (protagonist) meet his four pups there, but I don't want it to seem forced, especially considering with how the pet trade works, it is highly unlikely he would meet all of them at the same place. I still want a satisfying ending though, and I don't want him to find all his pups over a lengthy period of time. At most I would want a two chapter difference between when he finds, for example, one pup, to when he finds the last. Anyway I can get around this problem?

I think I have the basics, but I'd like some specific facts. I have an idea for a story where I put a twist on the perspective of this big problem by making it from the victims' perspective: animals. I think it would be neat to have a story from an animal's perspective. They are the ones involved, anyway. I've already picked out the animal: an African wild dog. I chose this animal because they are endangered due to poaching for their beautiful pelts, and they are very dedicated to their family. If one of their pack members die, they show remorse. They also search for lost pack members, so my idea was to have an African wild dog journey around in search of his family. His mate has been poached and his pups sold into the illegal pet trade.
Detailed information on poaching and illegal pet trade would be great. (I'm already pretty familiar with the dogs considering I volunteer at a zoo during the summer)

Chris P
07-18-2016, 10:21 PM
Info about the dogs or info about the poaching trade?

For the dogs, you might look into animal behavior studies. Google Scholar will surely turn up hits, but the reading can be dry and a lot of it will be behind a paywall--if you are near a university library you can probably get access in their computer lab.

For poaching stats, the wildlife authorities of different countries might have data but you would be better off looking for non-profit preservation and anti-poaching organizations.

Siri Kirpal
07-18-2016, 10:50 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Since you volunteer at a zoo, I'd suggest you talk to someone there. Tell them what it's for. Someone there, if it's a good zoo, should be able to point you in the right direction, even if they don't have the answers themselves.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal, whose mother was a docent at the San Diego Zoo

Kinzel
07-18-2016, 11:03 PM
Thanks :) I did that a few weeks ago, and they told me a lot about the affect on the animals, how it acts like a domino effect to that species and so on, and specifically what animals were in trouble because of it. They also told me what people are doing to stop it. I'm looking for specifics, however. Like the gear used, and what goes on money-wise, and things like that.

Siri Kirpal
07-19-2016, 03:34 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Okay, good! I've seen photos of poachers in Zoonooz. Not sure where you'd get back issues, but they must be available. What I remember of them: I think the poachers would use a high-powered rifle to take out the mom. They'd need some sort of caging for the pups, but not sure how they'd put them in. And they'd need a truck to get in and out.

If poaching is anything like other sorts of theft (my father was a probation officer and the family went through a robbery to steal some valuable antiques), they'd sell their goods to a fence, who has channels into the wholesale and/or retail markets. But I'm not sure how much they'd get. Only it's probably more than they can make in whatever legit endeavors are open to them. Also, not sure if "fence" is the term actually used in this particular business.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Siri Kirpal
07-19-2016, 11:25 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I told my husband about this thread, and he suggested that a) the poachers would need good aim to avoid damaging the pelt, b) they'd probably use tranquilizers on the pups, c) they'd probably want to have a buyer (a fence or a wholesale/retailer or a direct buyer) before going in after the critters, because if the critters aren't cared for, they lose their value.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Kinzel
07-21-2016, 03:36 AM
Thank you! You're such a great help!