Already more people have died from the Coronavirus than the number of people killed by the SARS outbreak in 2003—and the virus is spreading exponentially. In the past 24 hours China has reported a surge of 3,400 new cases with 185,000 people under observation. According to WHO, one in every fifty people infected will die. Scientist are racing to find a vaccine but it is unlikely it will happen in time to help with this particular outbreak.
More than 75% of all emerging diseases originate in animals. HIV, Ebola, and SARS are among those that have made the leap from wildlife to humans, spawning international outbreaks. This coronavirus originated from one of Wuhan’s many ‘wet markets’ – so called because animals are often slaughtered directly in front of customers. (In China it is widely believed that the more an animal suffers the better the meat tastes.) Over 100 different species of animals are sold for consumption there, including wolf pups, civet cats, and kangaroos, which are detained and slaughtered in cramped, dirty conditions, with direct contact with humans. Hoses blast water mixing the urine and feces of an assortment of different species in unsterile environment—a perfect storm for the recombination of viruses. If only for our own health and safety, we must stop the butchery of rare mammals for the sake of souvenirs and delicacies.
While many of these animals are legally obtained, many are not. The illegal wildlife trade is worth around $20 billion per year. It is the fourth biggest illegal trade worldwide, after drugs, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.
Utilizing Amazon’s cloud based platforms to distribute continuous, reliable information in the form of data and HD video, we will empower those who are protecting our parks, sanctuaries, and the places our wild animals call home. Using our powerful cameras and sensors, we will be able to see and share things no one has ever seen before, and at the same time, protect those animals by making sure they don’t end up in one of China’s hundreds of wet markets.
The will exists. The role of Africa ASAP is to help provide the way.
We are on our way to raising $140,000 to build an airship by Earth Day 2020. If you haven’t already visited our campaign page, please check out the details of our planned and one- time giving campaign (including thank you gifts!) at www.africaasap.org/campaign.
For the elephants,