135 endangered rhino killed

2012-03-19 22:36

Johannesburg - South African officials say 135 endangered rhino have been killed by poachers so far this year, about a third of the number killed during all of 2011.

The government's environment department said in a statement on Monday it is encouraged that arrests and convictions for rhino poaching appear to be increasing in 2012. There were 89 arrests in the first eleven weeks of this year.

The department says the worst hit area was the eastern Kruger Park where 75 rhinos were killed for their horns since January 1.

The government says despite a worldwide campaign against its use in traditional medicines in Asia, rhino horn has soared in price on the illegal market since claims in Vietnam that it has cured cancer.

  • Mel - 2012-03-19 22:51

    Do something about it then!!!!!Pay more people to patrol the area or is that suggestion far too simple. The government can afford it geeeez.

      Gungets - 2012-03-20 05:49

      It is quite simplistic. It is a massive, massive area. It is not helpful that park officials are invilved, so putting them on patrol increases their opportunity. We need proper crime fighting, proper police intelligence. Treat it as a large scale financial crime, get SARS involved with lifestyle audits (and then follow up as if they are the mafia - which they are), we will catch them.

      Hunter - 2012-03-20 06:32

      Gungets, I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. Could I add that they need to seriuosly involve the Mosambican authorities also in this. I was in the areas just east of Kruger five weeks ago and the locals can point out all the rhino poachers' houses and cars (they do stand out significantly) and one of these land cruisers pushed us off the road one evening while driving on a small dirt track near the village. We heard four shots fired in the bush in the time we were there, and found very fresh rhino tracks late one afternoon, but could not catch up with the animals. There is also heavy elephant poaching happining there. All of this has been reported on both sides of the border, so lets see how much comes from it...

      Chloe - 2012-03-20 07:56

      Lets all start by Boycotting ALL Chinese/Vietnamese Shops, restaurants etc in the whole of SA. Then they might put pressure on their folks at home to stop buying ??????

  • Allan - 2012-03-19 22:51

    NEWS FLASH:- Did you know that hanging the dehydrated testicles of a rhino poacher in you garage will prevent you from getting traffic fines.

      Rudie - 2012-03-20 09:11

      No Allan you have to hang them behind your bakkie like they do in PTA.LOL

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-20 05:13

    They dont seem to care...

      Rudie - 2012-03-20 09:12

      They will care if we start killing there pandas.

  • Tony - 2012-03-20 06:54

    This is a desperate situation and sickens me to the core. Apart from the tragedy of the possible extinction of a magnificent animal the long term affect on tourism is incalculable. Given the Governments inability and lack of resolve in combating this scourge drastic action is required. I would suggest we flood the market with stockpiled rhino horns treated with a potent poison. Once the users start dying no one will buy horns as they wont be sure if they are toxic or not. I doubt traders will last long once the orientals find out they have been poisoned! The Chinese have a track record of intolerance in dealing with those they feel have betrayed them.

      André Lombard - 2012-03-20 07:17

      Well said Tony. Agree completely with your comment

      Antipoaching - 2012-03-20 07:51

      Agree 100% Tony! I have been following the harrowing ordeal of the Kariega rhino (Themba & Thandi) who survived poaching operations on 02 March. The injuries to these 2 are absolutely gut-churning. I support the move to DNA-type our rhino, hopefully this will translate into any-one found with the horn of a DNA-typed rhino being treated as a poacher and not just being "in possession". Do yourself a favour (if you havent already seen the video) go to the Kariega Game Reserve facebook page and watch the video taken when Dr Fowlds and the team arrived on site on 2 March. It is the true face of poaching

  • Helmut - 2012-03-20 07:01

    Bring in properly trained people in, not modified security guards. Use the people who for centuries lived WITH nature, like the San people and learn from them! Somebody has the right connections to get away with all this rhino killing. Maybe our new bosses from the east demand Lhino Holn prease!?

      Hunter - 2012-03-20 07:41

      Helmut, unfortunately the bushmen are very passive and peace-loving and does not have the aggrassion in them to take on such a fight. We saw this during the border war. They could do with using some of the ex-koevoet and ex-32bat trackers, but that would cause a huge political and humanitarian outcry!

  • Arlene - 2012-03-20 07:06

    Can the price of massive advetising in the countries of Rhino medicine/cure not be very cheap incomparison to having no Rhino left and to just talk about their stats. Im sure if more people knew that horn is nothing but hair/nail they might not be intrested in the high price or its medicinal value anymore

  • John - 2012-03-20 07:40

    Stop the trophy hunting of rhino as well. Set the hunters upon the poachers instead. Win-win.

  • Antipoaching - 2012-03-20 08:44

    Associated Press has just released this video of the Kariega rhino poaching incident, I see News24 still hasnt posted the video I put up:

  • AndrĂ© - 2012-03-20 11:26

    Legalise the trading of Rhino horn and regulate it. It can be harvested. As much as I hate the idea of a Rhino without it's horn, in time we won't have any left. Sell the stockpiles in the Kruger. It's a 5000 year old culture, backed by organised crime - we won't stop it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  • Gmale - 2012-03-20 11:54

  • Sharon - 2012-03-20 12:55

    The Kruger National Park must bring in the army as a temporary measure to stop the poaching until they have got a proper security team in place.I cannot believe how slow this government is to react to a crises.The opposition parties are just as much to blame as they also sit back and do nothing.This problem show be a top discussion in parliament.If all the wild animals disappear in our country thousands of jobs will be lost in the tourism industry.

  • Swayseeker - 2012-03-23 09:25

    With such large numbers being killed people need to be persuaded that ther is no aphrodisiac property - could denature the protein of the horn with urea, microwaves, etc. Also the possibility that the rhino horn has deadly rat urine on. See

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