Rhino cow, calf killed on Jeffreys Bay game farm

2015-05-01 18:54

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Port Elizabeth - A rhino cow and her calf were killed on a Jeffreys Bay game farm, Netwerk24 reported on Friday.

“The poachers knew exactly what they were doing. Each animal had one shot through the heart and lungs,” Johan Lottering, owner of the 1 300ha Lombardini game farm, was quoted as saying.

They were shot on Wednesday night, when it was rainy, windy, and there was a full moon.

“If I could get my hands on that poacher, I wouldn’t give him a chance,” he said.

“Normally we step up patrols when there is a full moon, but this time the wind was so strong we did not think there would be a risk of poaching.”

Lottering praised the Green Scorpions and police for their rapid and professional response, but said the wind and the rain had already erased most of the poachers’ tracks.

This brought to 10 the number of rhino poached in the Eastern Cape so far this year. It was also the first time that rhinos were poached west of Port Elizabeth.

All of Lombardini’s rhinos were de-horned three years ago to deter poachers. The cow that was killed on Wednesday was part of this operation, but part of her horn had grown back.

“The calf did not even have a horn... I assume he did not want to leave his mother’s side and was shot to get him out of the way... he was suckling on her... he was born in February.”

Lottering said those who opposed the legal “harvest” of rhino horns were on the side of the poachers, because as long as the product was in short supply, poaching would continue.

Three years ago, “poachers” suffering from a hangover, struck on the game farm.

Barendina, a fibreglass rhino in the bar, was their victim. She was created from a cast made from the reserve’s first real rhino cow.

Lombardini’s co-owner, Susan Lottering, said they suspected at the time that the thieves must have known the horn was worth something as they did not touch any of the brandy and rum supplies.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  conservation  |  rhino poaching  |  crime

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