Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.~~Psalm 82:4
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."~~Winston Churchill
So how do we stop these terrorist poachers from committing the unspeakable mayhem on innocent people and at the same time stop the slaughter of elephants? We cut them off at their pocket book…..we stop them from making money in the illegal ivory trade.
There is only one reason that these terrorists poach elephants….and that is to sell the ivory for cash to finance their mayhem on villages. If they did not receive money from the sale of illegal ivory then these terrorist organizations could not afford to commit the human atrocities that they do. It takes money to feed, arm, and pay their terrorists armies, a very considerable amount of money every month. It all boils down to this simple concept….if we stop the elephant poaching then the terrorists will not be able to afford to finance their mayhem on villagers. In other words, stopping the poaching stops the mayhem on villagers. The terrorist armies eventually will disband voluntarily because they are not being fed, armed and paid.
In April of 2017 African Wildlife Initiative agreed to provide air support for the European Union backed counter poaching organization, Ecofaune Project. Ecofaune is a “boots on the ground” Counter poaching organization apprehending and arresting elephant poachers in the Central African Republic and they are having some success. The problem that they face is the vast 107,800 square kilometer (41,621 square mile) area that they must patrol. Their transportation is limited to the use of four-wheel drive vehicles, traveling over a very few un-maintained dirt tracks. It is a slow and tedious journey at best, having to run their vehicles always locked in four-wheel drive, often getting stuck and having flat tires and breakdowns due to the extreme conditions that the dirt tracks are in. But that is where African Wildlife Initiative comes in.
We will use our Piper PA-18 Super Cub (pictured above) to patrol areas in a few hours that would take many days to cover with their four-wheel drive vehicles. The Ecofaune ground teams will be pre-positioned in the field in the area that African Wildlife Initiative’s Air Team is patrolling. When our air team finds poachers, they will give the Rangers the GPS coordinates and the Rangers to make contact with the poachers. The AWI Air Team will then act as a command and control platform so that the Ranger ground teams can move in and make the arrests. The air team will also film the poachers and maintain surveillance if they try to flee. (It is nearly impossible to out run a airplane with a vehicle, especially on the very rough dirt tracks in that extremely harsh country.) Our combined presence method will both vastly expand the patrol area and dramatically increase the arrest rate. And because the poachers are the same despicable evil people that are abducting children and selling them into the child sex slave trade market, the more poachers that are arrested the less child abductions there will be.
People ask us:
1. Is what we are going to do dangerous? Yes it is.
2. Will they shoot at your airplane? Yes they will, and we will take evasive action. Wouldn’t you?
3. Will you return fire? That is not what we do. We act as an observation platform and a command and control platform.
4. Will elephant poaching and child abductions drop dramatically in an area where you operate? Yes, of course
5. Why are you willing to risk your life to do this? Because someone has to step up to the plate and put a stop to both of these unspeakable crimes or nothing will change. Theodore Roosevelt said it best: No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well being, to risk his body, to risk his life in a great cause." And this is a great cause~!!
We are signing a blank check that includes our willingness to give our lives to stop elephant poaching and rescue child sex slaves in the Central African Republic. So really there is only one question left……..What are you willing to give?