The result was increased poaching, which, if allowed to proceed unchecked, may well have threatened the elephant’s future. Fortunately, voices for true conservation worked throughout the 1990s to set the record straight and their timing coincided with a great surge of American interest in African hunting. Today elephants can be legally hunted in about 10 African nations and sport-hunted trophies can be imported into the U.S. from almost half of them.
The rhino is another conservation success story, and its existence truly was jeopardized by rampant poaching. But thanks to the dedicated efforts of wildlife managers in southern Africa supported by hunters and organizations such as NRA, the great horned beasts are on the rebound, and for the first time in decades, legal hunts for both African rhino species are being conducted.
Over the past year a sharp increase in rhino poaching has been reported, and while the losses won’t immediately threaten stabilized populations, it underscores the ongoing need for aggressive anti-poaching action funded by proceeds from visiting hunters. Accordingly, South Africa and other affected countries reportedly have stepped up their efforts.