Corruption escalates rhino poaching

2013-07-16 10:00
Wildlands Conservation Trust officials have darted and tagged seven rhino to prevent poaching in Kwa-Zulu Natal. (Luke Pallet, Wildlands Conservation Trust)

Wildlands Conservation Trust officials have darted and tagged seven rhino to prevent poaching in Kwa-Zulu Natal. (Luke Pallet, Wildlands Conservation Trust)

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

Video

Rhino tagging

2013-07-16 09:52

This YouTube video shot by Luke Pallet shows how the Wildlands Conservation Trust carried out rhino tagging.WATCH

kalahari.com

Cape Town - Corruption among senior officials plays a significant role in perpetuating the poaching of rhino in SA, a conservation organisation has charged.

"We do believe corruption at the higher government levels continues to play a significant role in the ongoing escalation of poaching. This also filters through to officials managing border posts and points of export (harbours, airports)," Kevin McCann project manager for the Wildlands Conservation Trust told News24.

The trust recently carried out a darting and tagging programme in Kwa-Zulu Natal to help protect rhino from poachers. They tagged seven rhino and fitted them with GPS devices provided by Wildlife ACT Fund so that rangers have a constant flow of rhino location data.

It has been suggested that at the current rate of poaching, rhino in SA will become extinct within decades.

Poachers killed 668 rhino in South Africa in 2012, a 50% increase over the previous year.

Armed poachers

Vietnam has emerged as one of the key destinations of rhino horn where it is ground down and used for a number of medical ailments as well as a status symbol.

Despite an "action plan" signed between SA and Vietnam in May, conservationists have lamented the Asia country's record in fighting rhino horn trafficking.

"Our rhino war is going to be won or lost in Asia, not in Africa," World Wide Fund for Nature CEO Dr Morné du Plessis, recently told News24.

According to Cites (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), poachers are heavily armed in their determination to kill rhino.

"AK47 assault rifles and 303 calibre rifles have been the most commonly used weapons but, recently, heavier calibre arms (eg .375s and .458s) are now being used," Cites said.

The WWF said that the prosecution of poaching "foot soldiers" would not stem the tide of the illegal activity.

"At the moment we're mainly hammering these okes on the ground, but they just replicate themselves," said Du Plessis.

Corruption

McCann added that sophisticated syndicates are involved in rhino poaching.

"To our knowledge complex, well resourced syndicates are running these poaching operations and recruiting military trained individuals to carry out these sorts of activities.

"The exact process is not known to us but the fact remains that they are extremely well resourced and have the ability to offer large sums of money to individuals in order to get them on board."

Cites said that corruption among Vietnamese officials had contributed to the escalation of rhino poaching.

The African and Asian Rhinoceroses - Status, Conservation and Trade publication compiled by Tom Milliken, Richard H Emslie and Bibhab Talukdar, says, in part, that investigations revealed "the repeated involvement of Vietnam Embassy personnel or vehicles in the illegal procurement and movement of rhino horns within and out of South Africa, one of whom invoked 'diplomatic immunity' to avoid arrest".


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    wwf  |  cites  |  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
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

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

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

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

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. 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

You may take extra pride in your work today. You have a need to shine and be respected so you may put the extra effort and TLC...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.