66 rhino horns worth R25m stolen

2013-04-06 14:23
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Pirates of Polokwane
    The 13th annual collection of Zapiro cartoons from the Mail& Guardian, Sunday Times and Independent... Now R126.00
    buy now

Johannesburg - Thieves have made off with 66 rhino horns worth some R25m in one of the biggest horn heists the country has seen, after breaking into the safe of a game farm owner.

The horns had been removed from rhino at the Leshoka Thabang Game Reserve in northern Limpopo to protect the animals from poachers who supply them illegally to international crime syndicates.

Demand has also been growing for rhino horn in Vietnam, where a newly affluent class has been buying it to treat ailments ranging from hangovers to cancer. The treatments have no basis in science but demand has pushed the price up to $65 000 a kilogram, making it more expensive than gold.

'Knew what they were doing'

Thieves stole the horns, two hunting rifles and four laptops in the robbery.

"The guys knew what they were doing. It was perfectly planned," owner Johan van Zyl told Beeld.

"In my hands it is worth nothing, but in the hands of the guys who have it now, the horns are worth a lot of money," he told Reuters.

He said about 42kg of horn had been stolen, which, according to prices of Vietnamese traditional medicine deals, would sell for about $2.75m (R25m) on the streets of Hanoi.

Van Zyl said he had permits for horn removal and storage. The government allows for private storage of horns, which must be registered, while forbidding almost all sales.

The thieves broke into a business office on Wednesday evening and appeared to have used a blowtorch to open a safe where the horns were kept, police and the game farm owner said.

"At this stage, we haven't arrested anybody yet, but we are still investigating," Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said.

She told Beeld that departmental nature conservationists were supposed to put microchips in the horns in accordance with the law before locking them up in a place of safety.

Poaching

South Africa is home to the vast majority of rhino on the continent, with numbers estimated at about 21 000.

Last year, more than 660 rhino in South Africa were killed by poachers - a record high - and more than 800 rhino could be killed this year if poaching continues at its current rate.

Several game reserve owners have dehorned rhinos to make them less likely to be killed by poachers, while the army has been deployed to protect the animals in national parks.

Rhino horn has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, where it was ground into powder to treat a range of maladies including rheumatism, gout and even possession by devils.

 

Read more on:    polokwane  |  rhino poaching
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
60 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

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.