Two rhinos killed in Nambiti

2013-02-27 00:00

SOPHISTICATED poachers killed two young rhinos and removed their horns at Nambiti Private Game Reserve on Sunday evening.

The reserve’s chairperson, Clarke Smith, told The Witness yesterday that it looked like the poachers had darted the rhinos from a helicopter. “It was a black Monday,” Smith said of the killing.

“They were found dead by one of our management patrols on Monday morning with their horns cut off. It looks like they used sophisticated methods in that they overdosed them with tranquillisers from a helicopter.”

Smith said the two rhinos were between three- and three-and-a-half-years-old.

Last year, Nambiti Private Game Reserve had initiated a de-horning campaign where adult rhinos had their horns cut off to protect them from poachers. The two male white rhinos killed on Sunday were deemed too young for the procedure.

“We were planning on de-horning them later this year. It’s a real pity [the loss] because we could do with some male rhinos on our reserve,” Smith said.

Conservationist Rob Le Sueur said: “We are devastated. It’s a tragedy. This appalling act has to be stopped.”

The reserve’s de-horned rhinos were untouched, which Pam Stewart of Nicky Arthur PR said was proof that the procedure was successful.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo wouldn’t comment as the rhino were killed in a private game reserve.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said they were investigating a case of hunting wild animals without a permit. No arrests have been made.

So far, 10 rhinos have been killed in KZN this year.

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