Kinessa Johnson, United States Army veteran hunt poachers in Africa
A tragic incident has stirred the canvas these days: the Cecil lion poaching in Zimbabwe, majestic animal with black mane, the head of the largest pack of lions Hwange Park. The lion was tracked for 40 hours by an American dentist, Walter Palmer. After being drawn out of the park, Cecil was loosely completed a bullet at close range. His body was then beheaded and dismembered.
This cruel hunt is however not an isolated incident in Africa, where lions heads are exported by hundreds in Europe. From 2007 to 2012, 450 heads of lions were imported from South Africa to Spain, according to the Spanish organization of animal conservation Chelui4lions.
Among the defenders of animal rights, some don’t use the gentlest methods against unscrupulous poachers. The alarming numbers of poaching – a poached elephant every 15 minutes in Africa – are a few uses the strong method.
She chased poachers in Africa
Kinessa Johnson, a United States Army veteran who has teamed up with VETPAW (Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife), is among those who chased poachers. The young woman is currently the buzz on the Internet, thanks to her Instagram account where she recounts her struggle, supporting photographs. After the war in Afghanistan, Kinessa Johnson joined in November 2014, the Association VETPAW. The association was looking for a woman to drive women, and Johnson met the selection criteria according 11Alive. VETPAW of veterans are sent to Africa to provide assistance to the staff of reserves and national parks. Kinessa Johnson is therefore part of these vigilantes who fight against the poaching mafia, scourge of Africa and huge financial windfall: raw ivory is sold at 1,800 euros per kilo. The illegal wildlife trade is the third largest global traffic after drug trafficking and arms trafficking.
According to IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), animal trafficking reached up to 16 billion euros per year. It is therefore not surprising that local protection structures are overwhelmed and do call VETPAW.
Methods are criticized for their violence
Yet VETPAW does not use the most peaceful methods to fight against poaching. Kinessa Johnson herself teaches shooting and does justice by arms. This strong method to the US is not barbaric and does not she show its long-term limits? Veteran answers his critics:
“I’m not a poachers’ hunter. I advise against poachers the guards so I regularly patrol with them and attend to their operations“.
The young woman then denies being a poachers’ killer and recalls that the main purpose of VETPAW is to protect wildlife, the most valuable resource of our planet. Kinessa Johnson thus seems decisive action from the association, in a continent where wildlife trafficking is a bloodthirsty mob, which jeopardizes the survival of emblematic species. Military protection of species is it really too much when the global animal trafficking scourge becomes impossible to stop by more peaceful methods?