Hluhluwe: Ezemvelo plans to out-strategise poachers after two more rhino killed

2013-02-07 00:00

POACHERS shot and killed another two rhino in KZN this week, this time in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

This brings the toll in the province since the start of the year to eight, and 59 countrywide.

The biggest onslaught has been in Kruger National Park where 42 rhinos have been poached.

The two found last week in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi were both white rhinos.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Jabulani Ngubane said it was a massive blow. “There’s an urgent meeting with the park operations, so that we can [think] about doing our business differently …”

Asked where the poachers are coming from — within or outside of KZN’s boundaries — he said: “It’s a combination … Because they are from different gangs, you can’t pin them down and say they are locals.”

Ngubane said Ezemvelo needed to out-strategise the poachers.

“Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is 96 000 hectares, which is hilly, rugged terrain … and it’s impossible for us to cover all the areas.

“We need to be strategic in terms of our directed patrols … I think my guys have got the expertise, the experience, the ability and the commitment to do it. That’s what keeps us going.”

It was vital that when rhino were lost, a strategic review took place and efforts were doubled.

King Shaka Aviation’s Justin Lowe meanwhile said the news of the latest poaching was heart-wrenching.

Donations to keep the helicopter in the air are at over R1, 056 million. Thanks to the following: Serisha Sirputh (R5 000), Bruce Muil (R3 000), Karen Furstenberg (R1 000), Amy (R1 000), Frans dos Santos (R500 monthly), Diana Martin (R470), among others.

Donors are asked to give their full names so that they can be thanked personally.

The Witness is KZN Rhino Watch’s print partner in this project.

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