Rhino ultimately about profit - IFAW

2012-11-19 22:24

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Johannesburg - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said on Monday the killing of seven rhino at the Klipkopspruit Farm, near Rustenburg, should not be seen in a vacuum.

"[It] is a complex problem where values of tradition and culture have been corrupted in the name of commercial exploitation," said IFAW director Jason Bell.

"Be it elephants and ivory, tigers and tiger parts, rhino and rhino horn, the endpoint is the same - profit. And that profit is being chased down in the most brutal fashion by organised crime syndicates who are fearless in their pursuit of the prize."

Bell said the last 24-months had been the most "deadly ever" for elephants and rhino.

The biggest market for rhino horn is China, where it is used mostly in the manufacture of traditional medicine.

North West Premier Thandi Modise said on Monday that the SANDF could be called in to help prevent rhino poaching in the province.

"The cruelty and brutality against the rhino, as symbol of our ecology and rich heritage, has gone too far," she said in a statement.

"Recent incidents dictate for extraordinary measures to protect our tourism and biodiversity."

Modise said communities in the proximity of game parks and farms also need to be educated and actively involved in nature conservation, tourism and anti-poaching strategies.

The premier said killings showed the "relentless and bloody onslaught" against African wildlife for profit.

"Shockingly, the animals were also mutilated for their eyes and ears, while one female had her genitalia cut off," IFAW said in a statement.

The latest killings bring the total number of rhino killed in South Africa this year to 558, up from 448 in 2011 and 333 in 2010, it said.


- SAPA

Read more on:    ifaw  |  sandf  |  thandi modise  |  mahikeng  |  rhino poaching  |  poaching
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