Rhino killed in North West reserve

2010-12-29 18:11
Mafikeng - A female rhino was killed for her horn in the Mafikeng Game Reserve in the North West, leaving a six-month-old calf behind, reserve management said on Wednesday.

Park Manager Louis Coetzee said one of his field rangers reported at 13:00 on Tuesday that a rhino had been killed and both horns removed.

The police were called and empty firearm cartridges were found at the scene.

"The rhino was a female between the ages of seven and eight-years-old. Unfortunately she had a calf which we haven't found yet," Coetzee said.

The calf was still very small and they were searching for it in the park.

Another rhino wounded

On Wednesday, the park found another female rhino wounded, also shot, but she would be "all right", Coetzee said.

She was presumably shot at the same time as the other rhino.

"It happened on Monday afternoon after 17:00. The guys were still patrolling just after 15:00 on Monday."

A fence had been cut and it was thought this had been done at last light between 17:00 and 19:00.

This was the first rhino to be shot with a rifle on the reserve, but others had been darted.

"This is the fifth rhino poached this year. We had another two that were also darted and de-horned, but were still alive.

 "We will have to do more patrols and be more alert, but it is difficult to cover all the animals in 24 hours," Coetzee said.

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