Rhino farms ‘impossible to protect’

2011-08-12 00:00

A 15-YEAR-OLD pregnant white rhino cow named Stompie became the 20th rhino to be cruelly killed for her horns by poachers in KwaZulu-Natal this week.

The incident happened at the private Kwaggashoek game ranch near Bergville.

Stompie’s despairing owner, Willie van der Merwe, told The Witness he no longer wants to keep rhinos on his property because no matter what he does he cannot protect them.

“At this stage I am thinking it’s just not worth the trauma.”

Van der Merwe said the rhino cow had been named Stompie because her horn broke during her initial capture and relocation to the game ranch. It grew back over the past six to seven years, but remained blunt.

He lost not only the cow but also the five-month-old, almost fully formed male foetus she was carrying. The rhino cow died barely a hundred metres from the homes of some of the game reserves employees.

“When they stepped out of their door on [Wednesday] morning the carcass was lying there,” Van der Merwe said.

He said no sounds had alerted the staff and no evidence had been found of a gunshot wound.

It was likely the rhino had been darted some distance away and pursued to the spot where she fell and her horn was chopped off.

He said the animal did not die humanely but suffocated to death as a result of the manner in which she fell, and it was possible she was alive when the horns were removed.

A post-mortem found evidence of “lung trauma”.

The use of sophisticated drugs to immobilise rhinos prior to their dehorning is usually indicative of a syndicate operation.

Further tests will be carried out to determine the type of drugs used.

Members of the Hawks wildlife investigations section are investigating the incident.

If anyone has information that could help police, call Warrant Officer Riaan van Rooyen at 082 448 5319.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.