Playing to save the Rhino: Golf Day raises R150?000 to fund fight against poaching

2010-10-26 00:00

SOPHISTICATED tracking systems and light aircraft are the latest weapons in fighting rhino killers.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) held a golf day at the Victoria Country Club on Friday to raise money to fund these tracking systems under the theme “Playing to Save the Rhino”.

EKZNW chief Dr Bandile Mkhize said the event raised about R150 000 for sophisticated equipment that will detect the presence of poachers.

Rangers also need training to stand up against dangerous poachers, he said.

“We want to install tracker systems via satellite to identify vehicles used for poaching. We are also looking at purchasing a Bantam aircraft, the type that is able to fly much lower than your normal aircraft. We are willing to go all out to save our wildlife,” said Dr Mkhize.

Between 2004 and 2009, South Africa had around 19 409 white and 1 678 black rhinos.

From January this year to September, KwaZulu-Natal has lost around 15 rhinos to poachers. From 1990 to date the province lost 21 more, 18 of which were poached from EKZNW reserves, while three were poached from private game reserves.

Mkhize said the number has declined slightly compared to last year due to efforts by the community and the police, which led to the arrest of eight suspected rhino poachers.

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