Rhino calf survives killing of mother as KZN poaching toll hits 35

2010-12-14 00:00

THE carcasses of four white rhinos killed by poachers have been found since Friday in game reserves under the control of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife .

To date this year, 35 rhinos have died at the hands of poachers in KwaZulu-Natal — 31 of them in protected areas and four on private game farms, according to a statement issued yesterday by EKZNW.

EKZNW spokesperson Maureen Zimu said a white rhino cow was shot during the early hours of Friday in the Emakhosini-Ophathe Heritage Park.

The rhino had a calf that survived and is being nursed at the Centenary Game Capture Centre in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

The carcasses of three male white rhino were found on Friday in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

Post-mortems showed that two animals were shot and de-horned three days earlier, and the third animal some 10 days before the carcass was found.

EKZNW CEO Dr Bandile Mkhize has reiterated that the war against such cruelty will be intensified in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, with a further 18 field rangers added to the park staff and additional specialised equipment being provided.

EKZNW and the SA Police Force organised crime units are joining forces to investigate the crimes.

EKZNW reported that an anti-poaching unit based in iSimangaliso Wetland Park interrupted an attempted poaching incident on the western shores of the park on Sunday evening.

A routine patrol heard a gunshot. On investigating, they saw three armed men and a white rhino disappearing into thick bush.

Searches continued until yesterday morning. No arrests were made.

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