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A Snared Pucu Anti-poaching is an essential part of an African wildlife protection program. A decade ago, anti-poaching units fought against organized commercial poachers who hunted elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns. Today, those same units are fighting independent poachers who sell bushmeat to the huge market of poor rural Africans who have neither physical nor economic access to domestic meat. The magnitude of the devastation caused by the demand for bushmeat is staggering: in Central Africa, it is estimated that approximately 1.1 million metric tons of wildlife are killed for meat each year, the equivalent of 4 million heads of cattle. And unlike the commercial poachers of old who targeted specific species for the market value of their body parts, the "bushmeat hunters" are indiscriminant, with old taboos against eating certain animals disappearing as the supply of wildlife dwindles.

In the war against poaching, the African Conservancy supports Zambia's Northern Province Honorary Wildlife Police Officers Unit. This unit provides transport, rations and fuel assistance to the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Wildlife Police Officers and takes over the ZAWA unit's duties while those officers are on leave (five days out of every month). When not on patrol duty, the unit conducts roadblocks and train searches to confiscate black market game meat and illegal firearms. In the last twelve months, it has confiscated 248 illegal automatic assault rifles, 420 home made muzzle loaders and shotguns, as well as a number of commercial rifles and shotguns. Also, in its efforts to be pro-active, the Honorary Wildlife Unit has crafted an amnesty program for the voluntary surrender of firearms, with a $50.00 reward awarded for each weapon handed in.

The Honorary Wildlife Officers Unit is 18-members strong. All are volunteers who take time away from their jobs to protect our global wildlife heritage. With your help, we can make them stronger, and we can replicate their efforts in other threatened and impoverished areas.



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