As if machine-gunning elephants and rhinos with an AK and then removing their tusks and horns with a chainsaw wasn’t reprehensible enough, poachers in Africa are now killing vultures.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that more than 1,500 pairs of breeding vultures have been killed in South Africa in the past two decades alone.
Poachers are targeting the scavenger birds as their presence alerts authorities that something dead is on the ground. The circling birds can also be seen from miles away.
Although some of these birds were shot, most were killed with poison. In order to down as many birds at once as possible, poachers leave poisoned bread and vegetables for animals to eat.
The animals die and are immediately consumed by vultures who in turn die as well. This allows for the poaching of rhinos and elephant in that area minus a number of alerting birds.