Soldiers, police, game rangers and forestry officers had been involved in a month-long crackdown on poachers, code-named Operation Terminate, in October. But the operation was suspended after an inquiry by MPs uncovered a litany of arbitrary murder, rape, torture and extortion of innocent people. Still, officials admit, elephant deaths have risen dramatically since the government abandoned the policy against poachers.
The deputy minister of natural resources and tourism in Tanzania, Lazaro Nyalandu said 60 elephants were butchered in November and December, compared with just two in October.
Although shoot-to-kill is not fool-proof, as the most greedy of poachers will poach; it does convey the strongest stance possible in a countries' willingness to stop the slaughter of our wildlife. If Botswana is indeed the recipient of Kruger's rhino, maybe their shoot-to-kill hardline stance on poachers will finally stem the blood flow.