KZN Wildlife, conservationists in spat

2011-12-29 20:06

Durban - Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has accused conservationists of undermining its efforts, after the conservation body came under fire for putting out a tender to hunt a white rhino bull.

"Conservationists are undermining the community and the role played by conservation," Ezemvelo chief executive Bandile Mkhize said on Thursday.

"If conservationists are concerned by what we are doing they must contact us directly and not go to the media."

The Mercury reported that a rhino conservation campaigner was outraged that Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife had invited hunters to tender to kill a white rhino bull at the Mkuze game reserve, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, to manage numbers of the animals and fund conservation efforts.

Anti-poaching campaigner Simon Bloch was quoted by the Mercury as saying this justification was pathetic, given that close to 500 rhino had been poached this year.

"We should be doing everything in our power to ensure the survival of the species," Bloch told the paper.

Said Mkhize: "We have been doing this for a very long time, it is part of managing conservation, this is a strategy used to manage wildlife."

He said the benefits from the tender would be used to manage reserves and fund any projects local residents had.

Wildlife conservationist Tony Conway, chair of the KZN Rhino Group, supported Mkhize.

"This is a business arrangement. It's been going on in South Africa since 1994. The country is doing well with rhino conservation, we are allowed to have controlled hunting of white rhinos."

According to the Mercury, Ezemvelo invited the holders of hunting licences to bid to kill the rhino, with a minimum of R750,000 being set. The tender was advertised on the internet for two days only.

The package consisted of an identified white rhino, pictures of which were available on request, and two night's accommodation at a lodge.

Bidding closed on December 23, the paper reported.

  • mario.dippenaar - 2011-12-29 21:15

    Well, it's a free market and those funds will go a long way in helping rhino conservation. If you feel strongly about not killing this rhino, I guess you could start a campaign to raise R750 000, which will be quite an accomplishment. Kinda like buying lobsters in a restaurant and releasing them into the ocean. I strife to look at this situation objectively and rationally. If you disagree with my viewpoint, please reply and explain, instead of just thumbing down.

      patsi.hoffstaetter - 2011-12-30 01:09

      Well, actually I have done that (bought live lobsters in restaurant & released them back into the ocean) To you it might seem crazy but to me, at least I tried to make a difference.

  • AquaticApe - 2011-12-29 21:16

    People that kill beings for fun, 'sport' or profit are sick and should be institutionalised along with those that aid and abet them. Ezemvelo must be more imaginative about ways to raise funds and not resort to killing the very things they are constituted to protect.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-29 21:29

      Make a donation or get back up your tree.

      Samantha - 2011-12-30 07:32

      i so agree with killing for your comment on killing for sport- if u want to kill the animal so badly , do it without a gun and "face to face" - cowards!!! why can they not move this rhino and other "surplus" animals to other farms or reserves where their numbers have already been depleted thro poaching, - why kill the very thing u are trying to protect, - and yes surely there must be other ways to raise money for the Rhino fund, - and yes i do donate monthy to the fund and the WWF - this is just stupid really

      Alice - 2012-01-02 08:34

      Are all the people that are against this vegetarians? Do you all kill your dinner 'face to face'?

  • helen.kacnik - 2011-12-29 21:31

    Rhino bull dung! Managed hunting is fine when keeping species under control, but rhino poaching has increased from 13 in 2007 to alomst 500 this year. We cannot condone "hunts" under these critical circumstances. At this rate they will be extinct in our lifetimes, and then demand will turn elsewhere.

  • michelle.mostert - 2011-12-30 08:18

    "We are doing well with Rhino Conservation" really? Really?

  • Sean - 2011-12-30 10:54

    Manage numbers? If 500+ rhinos have been poached this year why do we still have to manage their numbers? It doesn't make sense. We are trying to save the species, so why kill more!!! So to save the rhino we must kill some!!! It is just a money making ploy. I wonder how much of the auction money will actually make its way back into conservation. Sounds like legalised poaching to me. Why not sell the rhino to a game farm that actually would like them and can sustain them, or relocate them to an existing government reserve that could support more rhino (the cheapest option but one that won't make money for the person who came up with this idea). Another option is to increase the existing area where the rhino resides to sustain more rhino. I remember back in the 1990's 50/50 sold of prints of a limited number of prints of cheetah to raise funds to increase the area of a reseve in the Cape so they could introduce cheetah there. The original painting was bought by Barclays Bank for R1 million. The prints sold for R1000 each. Everyone who bought a print had their name on a plaque in the reserve. It was successful. So there are other options to conserve a species than auctioning them off to be killed in the name of conservation. As I said before, someone is getting their pockets lined with this so called justified option.

      Sean - 2012-01-01 21:24

      I agree with you all the way Sean, it is exactly what I stated already! You mentioned the scheme that was used to raise funds to save cheetahs, well the Scoin Shop is doing just that. There are rhino coin sets (gold/silver) being sold with a potprtion being allocated saving the rhino. This not only for a good cause, but a very good 5 year investment considering our current worldwide economic circumstances! I've done this and will reap the financial beneits in a few years time and hopefully the contributions will help save our wonderful majestic rhinos from greedy uneducated people trying to justify their decisions!!!

      Dave Rigby - 2013-03-06 06:03

      Cash flow - thats all that matters. Anything for cash.

  • oddearring - 2011-12-30 12:23

    If the money was used wisely, I could POSSIBLY agree. However, on my lat visit to Mkuze I was so so dissappointed to see how badly the place was run. Small day to day maintainance tasks were not kept up with with the result that things went from bad to worse. Some of the hides were totally delapidated. The curio shop had NO stock whatsoever. This is a potential money spinner for the park but the staff were sitting on their ample behinds doing nothing. When we asked when were they expecting stock we were answered by a shrug of the shoulders. So the available income stream gets neglected and a noble animal has to be killed to fill the void. Makes you think, doesn't it?

      Sean - 2012-01-01 21:32

      It seems that the owner/s of this reserve does not know how to run a reserve at all, the reserve should sell all their game to reserves who would love to have the stock and who would know how to run a reserve profitably without having to kill the one animal that the whole world is trying to conserve. Thanks for the warning, that place will not get a cent from me!

      Dave Rigby - 2013-03-06 06:01

      They "new" incumbents at Ezemvelo are the poachers of old. 80% OF THE BUDGET IS USED FOR SALARIES. Conservation is not part of African culture. Today is all that matters. They cannot maintain a thing - look at the roads, the electricity system, this morning no water again - for the twentieth time this year. Our country has gone to the dogs ! Best focus on the eternal for these rascals are controlled by greed.

  • marnie.hickman - 2011-12-30 13:42

    Rhinos are being poached/slaughtered at the rate of one every eight hours !!! I do understand the need to raise funds, BUT it would make more sense to re-locate this bull to another safe area where he could continue to draw the tourist Dollar for years to come instead of making some inadequate man feel good !!!!

  • Alva - 2011-12-30 17:34

    FFS! What kind of logic is this? Let's have some transparency on this tender. Who are the bidders?

      Sean - 2012-01-01 21:34

      Probably poachers that's why there is no transparency with the tenders!

  • Carol - 2012-01-01 19:59

    I thought rhinos were endangered, which means their numbers are decreasing. So surely if a rhino is hunted and killed, then the total number of rhinos goes down? Why doesn't Ezemvelo use other means to raise funds? If people enjoy killing animals so much, maybe they would pay to assist in culling other animals which are not endangered and need culling.

  • Sean - 2012-01-01 21:09

    The word "conservation" should be looked up in the latest dictionary! Why not just give the majestic and endangered speces to the poachers for free, it means the same thing. Remember that if any living being is dead it can not be brought back to life!!! Why even provide stats of how many rhinos are poached every year, why not include all the rhinos that were sold so far as well and all this for a horn that is supposed to be an aphrodisiac - I hope that who ever rubs it on their...... will make it fall off then they can feel what it is like to loose a horn! The sad thing is that our beautiful, majestic animals are killed purely for their horns. By the way, of course conservationists will be up in arms about this, what on earth do you expect!?

  • Helen - 2012-01-04 14:27

    how disgusting, on one hand they say 400 rhinos have been poached , on the other hand they are quick to sell one for money and let it get shot in the name of conservation, what a travesty and tragedy, why cant this business man who obviously has nothing better to do , put his money into something worthwhile and leave the remaining rhinos makes a mockery of SA if we allow this to happen....its a pity people like this exist,hunt them down as well..

  • jonathan.koekemoer.35 - 2012-06-25 10:08

    may as well make poaching legal.

  • Dave Rigby - 2013-03-06 05:54

    Any project the local community may have ?? Like a good shebeen party with the proceeds ? These people have seared conciences and no morals. They use contrived arguments to justify their actions. They are the dregs of the earth.

  • pages:
  • 1