A total sellout at wildlife auction

2008-05-18 00:00

The 2008 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) Game Auction held at the Sibaya Casino near Durban on Saturday, was a total sellout, with "excellent prices" being paid for most species on offer.

Jeff Gaisford, spokesman for EKZNW, said every one of the 227 lots were sold to buyers from all over SA.

The top price for a white rhino was R530 000 — a female and calf combination.

Other interesting prices were dassies — maximum of R450 each — hippo at R18 250 each and the average price for white rhino at R252 973 with a maximum price paid of R470 000. The overall sale came in at R12 061 600.

EKZNW CEO Mr Khulani Mkhize said the "excellent result" of the auction demonstrated the faith their buyers had in the quality of the game.

"We believe that the high quality of our game is a significant factor in keeping the genetic make-up of our buyer’s own stocks very good.

"In the interests of good biodiversity conservation this means that our auction is contributing in a positive manner to maintaining the quality of South Africa’s wild game stocks on private land.

"The KZN Nature Conservation Board Chairman Dr Patrick Sokhela, in his opening remarks, noted that it is important that it be known that the game auction is primarily a game management tool — albeit one with a healthy financial spinoff," Mkhize said.

EKZNW first take cares of its own internal game requirements and donations are made to Community Conservation Areas and other official conservation bodies throughout South Africa.

"I am mindful of the current argument faced by the National Minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism, about the ban on elephant culling," said Sokhela.

"Unfortunately elephants are not really saleable items and cost a high amount of money to translocate … Culling is the last option and I am grateful that we in KZN do not have to face this problem yet."

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