Conservationist defends R1m rhino hunt

2012-01-12 10:15

Cape Town - Rhino conservationist Ian Player has defended conservation agency Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s decision to allow a R1m hunt for a white rhino bull at the Makhasa Community Reserve near Mkhuze, the Mercury newspaper reported on Thursday.

Player, commenting on the controversial plan to allow an unidentified hunter to shoot the animal as a trophy at a cost of R960 000, said legal hunting had made a significant contribution to the recovery of the formerly critically endangered species.

The species had recovered rapidly in the early 20th century through intensive protection and a ban on hunting, followed by controlled hunting from the 1970s.

Incentive for communities

"The rhino population began to explode because of financial incentives and because ranchers started to buy land for wildlife. They (hunters) have played a big role in the recovery of the white rhino," Player said.

He said the Makhasa community had given up 1 800ha of land to establish a community wildlife reserve.

"You cannot expect the community to do that for nothing. I have spent my life protecting the rhino, but as far as Makhasa is concerned it would be a very serious mistake not to help those people.

"I really believe that if they make a success at Makhasa, this will be the new frontier for conservation and will encourage other communities to bring in other land for conservation," he said.

At least two other conservation groups have argued against banning rhino hunts entirely.

‘Surplus’ rhino

Endangered Wildlife Trust chief Yolan Friedman and Wilderness Foundation chief Andrew Muir warned that a moratorium could have "unintended and negative consequences which are prejudicial to the southern white rhino conservation as a whole".

In October, Friedman, Muir and Pelham Jones, of the Private Rhino Owners’ Association, said most state-run parks in South Africa were reaching the end of their productive carrying capacity and there was a need to remove "surplus" rhino.

"To allow the continued expansion of rhino range and numbers, and so enable overall numbers to grow... the private sector and communities have to provide the new conservation land.

"The extent to which they do so largely depends on economic incentives and the perceived risk of managing rhino."

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-12 10:22

    Why will someone want to hunt a Rhino, these savages

      cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-12 11:03

      Very correct!!!!

      Twain - 2012-01-12 11:25

      Doesn't matter why they want to. Fact is they're willing to pay big bucks for it. Depressing as it may seem, this is the best bet that endangered species like the white rhino have for survival. Think about it - who wants to let a money maker like that die out? If a huge sum is attributed to each individual animal then the community will want to preserve it. OH SNAP! I DONE DEFEATED YOU WITH LOGIC.

      Jack - 2012-01-12 11:31

      @ubhejane, Yes it has been proven that the bigger ones car the smaller his penis. That's why i have no issue driving a small mini coupe. :)

      Jack - 2012-01-12 12:15

      @Twain...SNAP REALLY WHERE? No one is denying that Hunting generates conservation funds, however one needs to tread carefully when dealing with endangered species, Rhino numbers are falling by the day, and you want to also legalize hunting them as well? Where is the logic in that? The animal needs protection right now, before you know it there will be nothing left only one dehorned cow....oh if only we didn't hunt that bull. Decides selling rhino generates just as much cash as hunting them.

      Twain - 2012-01-12 13:22

      Jack, jack, jack. "The rhino population began to explode because of financial incentives and because ranchers started to buy land for wildlife. They (hunters) have played a big role in the recovery of the white rhino," Player said. Do you even read the article or do you just have the classic knee-jerk hippie reaction whenever you read a headline like this? Get clued-up.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 13:28

      Jack - not falling by the day, the numbers of Southern white rhino and black rhino are increasing in South Africa, despite the poaching carnage. I don't like hunting, I despise poaching, but controlled hunting both generates money and controls the genetic health of the rhino population. May I suggest you read both the links below, it is good info from the experts ----> ----->

      Kyle - 2012-01-12 16:08

      @Twain - we have too many humans on the planet so we can we pay to hunt them. Right now they are destorying the planet and if we paid to hunt them then it would help solve both over population and we'd have money to feed the starving... in actual fact it makes more sense to pay to hunt humans they it does to pay to hunt rhino's. It's a b*tch when logic is used against you...

      Sharon - 2012-01-12 16:21

      The very best way to shoot a rhino is with a camera!

      Hugh - 2012-01-12 16:37

      @Jack, sadly or otherwise, Ian Player is probably the world leader in conservation and his opinion isn't knee jerk, like some comments here. No we dont want to lose the Rhino, but with out legal hunts bringing in the money to preserve the species, we lose everything. Player is right, knee jerkers are wrong. Sadly I might add.

      Shining - 2012-01-13 08:42

      The thing is, there's a solution that doesn't have to cost a single rhino its life. Rhino horn (and the only reason for its current brutal slaughter) is a sustainable product. It regrows to a full length approximately every 4 years. Private rhino farmers have taken to dehorning their rhino in order to protect the animals and their own lives (poachers operate in gangs and are as violent as any other murderer). Dehorning does not harm the animal in any way - the greatest risk to it is the sedative used during the process. The horns are then sent to banks or other safehouses for safe-keeping. Government stockpiles of rhino horn are already substantial, not to mention private stockpiles. Yet, rhino die every day to provide this product. Does anyone else think this is ridiculous? We're NEVER going to change the views of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners in time to save the species, at the rate it is being decimated. So, why not provide what they want? If you had the option of giving away a regenerative body part (like hair or nails) every few years in exchange for your life or for the survival of your species, I have no doubt you would do it. None of us want to see rhinos without horns but it beats the sh*t out of seeing bloody, mutilated animals. Legalising trade of rhino horn under the watchful eye of a valid, accountable, proactive and balanced Convention would mean that no rhino would ever have to die again and NOBODY would want to hunt their rhino.

  • Bruce - 2012-01-12 10:22

    They have just found 9 Rhinos killed by poachers in Kruger. I there are too many somewhere, relocate them!

      Kaizer - 2012-01-12 11:28

      errr...WHITE RHINOS?

  • Eduard - 2012-01-12 10:25

    Oh no, what is happening with our society? Saying rhino's are surplus species is very far from reality. why not let the murderers and rapist run in a park and hunters can hunt these "wild species"?

      Mandy - 2012-01-12 10:44

      What a lovely suggestion eduard !!!

      Eduard - 2012-01-12 10:58

      thank you Mandy

      mario.dippenaar - 2012-01-12 11:07

      Actually the official conservation status of the white rhino is 'near threatened' , meaning it's at lower risk category. I wish more focus would be placed on animal that are actually endangered.

      Craig - 2012-01-13 13:31

      Emotional and uneducated BS again... grow up people!

  • Chris - 2012-01-12 10:28

    Let the hunter hunt with a bow & arrow. Then the rhino and hunter will be on an equal footing.

      Chris - 2012-01-12 10:55

      I would rather say, let him hunt with a knife!!!

      John - 2012-01-12 11:22

      Chris You are not being fair The rhino has no weapon his horn is made of hair. let the hunter use his teeth.

      Chum Scrubber - 2012-01-14 05:51

      Why risk wounding the rhino?

  • Jaco - 2012-01-12 10:29

    On the one hand South Africa is saying please help with Rhino poaching, it is out of control, and on the other we're saying, well if you have enough money you can do pretty much what you please. It is a conflicting message that steals from the endeavors to camp rhino poaching. This "conservationist" just has money on his mind.

      Ed - 2012-01-12 10:39

      Jaco..perhaps you should find out about who Dr Player is first. You may realise that he was the person who was INSTRUMENTAL in bringing black and white rhinos back from extinction in the 80's. He is also the driving force behind efforts to save rhinos today. respect.

      The Real Unskinny - 2012-01-12 12:20

      @Ed: And today he's the guy saying there's a surplus of endangered species. Old age & dementia hard at work.

      lynsey.rimbault - 2012-01-13 14:20

      What am idiotic comment, conservationists are notoriously poorly paid.

      reginald.rogers1 - 2012-01-13 15:27

      The fact that there is such a huge Rhino Poaching is completely Dr Players fault!...... cause if it wasnt for him, there would be no rhino to poach!..... Think before you drink, before you drive me mad

      Chum Scrubber - 2012-01-14 05:54

      You have no idea of who Ian Player is. Rather arrogant old chap, but a conservationist absolute. A rubbish comment, Jaco, read up on Ian for the truth about his morals, few men a more honest.

  • melissa.lottering - 2012-01-12 10:32

    It sends out the wrong message to potential poachers and the world in general (especially Asia) It's going to be like, well if they can hunt them for money, why can't we?

      Twain - 2012-01-12 14:08

      Because they're not hunting them for money. They're POACHING! Honestly people, just stop for a moment and look at it without getting emotional about "killing".

      Kyle - 2012-01-12 16:11

      Twain - ah so no emotions must come into play about if I paid the same sum to hunt... hmm lets say.. YOU... remeber no emotions about killing must come into play.... hunt you, get the same amount of money, kill an animal that is over populated, ie human and save one that is under populated ie the rhino... I'll say that's win-win!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:34

      @Kyle, your argument is waaaaaay off topic..

  • Ed - 2012-01-12 10:32

    Guys, please understand all the facts. Dr Player was the person behind bringing black and white rhinos back from extinction during the 80'.s Globally he is repsected and known as one of the greatest conservationists on the planet. Together with SAB and various wildlife organisations he is also trying to ensure that the private and public sector works together to come-up with ONE strategy to help rhinos. Right now too many people are trying to do too many diffrent things, many of them either conflict with other organisations or take much needed funds away from other organisations.

      Morne - 2012-01-12 10:48

      Only humans can come up with the concept of killing something to save it.

      michele.marnewick - 2012-01-12 10:58

      Yes we get what you are saying but this is the wrong time to be killing rhinos for money (in my opinion there never is a right time)when everyone is trying to focus attention on saving them!!!

      Kaizer - 2012-01-12 11:40

      So you never heard of culling Morne? Google it.

      The Real Unskinny - 2012-01-12 12:22

      @Kaizer: How many other endangered species get culled?

      Twain - 2012-01-12 14:10

      Lots actually. Like in Botswana when the elephant population got so unmanageable that huge areas started turning into desert (elephants topple entire trees) which meant that land was unable to sustain their numbers. So they got culled, allowing those remaining ones to thrive again instead of starving for lack of food.

      Ed - 2012-01-12 15:27

      Kaizer...SA does also have some of the best game management processes in the world. the fact that we have saved white and black rhinos, as well as ellies from extinction before and are now home to the majority of their populations, is testimony to that. elephants are also culled in the greater kruger area. this is as a result of our excellent game management. unfortunately ellies can be destruvtice, especially during droughts or over-population. kruger can handle about 12000-14000 elephants. there are now closer to 19000. the destruction caused by them is widespread and negatively affects birdlife (trees pushed over) and other does all have to be managed.

      Kyle - 2012-01-12 16:13

      @Twain - yes and they didnt relocate them because? they ran out of area becuase? honestly people take the easiest route out then find weak reasons to justify it.

      Kirsten - 2012-01-12 16:17

      @Ed: If he is such a incredible conservationist, why doesn't he just donate the money. Why is the killing of the Rhino essential?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:36

      @Kirsten, if you do not know the answer to your question then you don't truly understand what is needed and being done in the name of conservation.

      Hugh - 2012-01-13 11:32

      @ED, you're preaching to the Urbanite couch conservationists who believe their lamb chops are born in glad wrap and cellophane containers. Player is a legend, and speaks from experience. The only solution for the Rhino is active policing, which in this country is really non existent. Maybe with the open borders between Moz and Zim, our exposure to poaching has increased. More hi-tech methods and assertive reaction are needed to put an end to it. Better scrutiny of licensed hunters would help too.

      Hugh - 2012-01-13 11:39

      @Kirsten, you ask why doesn't Ian Player put his money where his mouth is? Your ignorance is showing. Not only has he done that, he has also dedicated his entire life to wildlife conservation. make some inquiries first before asking such profound comments. Google is just a few key strokes away.

      Gany - 2012-01-13 12:19

      Killing something to save it - I agree. Humans really apply that logic except in the one place they should the most - ourselves.

      Twain - 2012-01-13 15:58

      @gany - I don't see YOU applying that logic to yourself.

      melissa.lottering - 2012-01-13 18:50

      I understand the theory behind it but when you consider the mentality of the poachers/horn exporters/buyers don't you think it conveys the wrong message? and even to the public in general. All the anti-poaching campaigns use the fact that this many rhino's have been poached, but then we hear of the very organization who should be saving them is auctioning one off? Can you not see the contradiction? At the very least this should not have been made public. Personally I cannot see how anybody could enjoy shooting a rhino but I guess that's just me.

  • Morne - 2012-01-12 10:33

    However you paint it Ian, 'controlled' hunting is still killing. Worst of all, doing it for money makes it no better than those poaching whose motivation is also money.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-12 10:42

      No truer words spoken about this issue! A thousand thumbs up for you Morne.

      Ed - 2012-01-12 11:30

      again Morne...please make sure that you know who Dr Player is...and the fact that he amost single-handedly saved rhinos from extinction once already:)

      Kaizer - 2012-01-12 11:32

      hugged a fungus lately?

      Gerald - 2012-01-12 11:44

      U r right more...hunting still leads to killing...but that in itself isn't wrong to me...killing is a part of life and killing animals is integral to humanity...everyday the majority of people eat something that was does killing for food make it OK and controlled killing to ensure survival of a species less acceptable, is killing a locust infestation to save a farmer's crop more acceptable? Like Ed is saying of Dr Player, who I believe cares far more for rhinoes here than all of us bloggers here, this controlled killing isn't contrary to conservation, if anything it promotes responsible killing and empowers communities to become involved to safe these animals...even if the primary motivation for them is money the end result is the ensure survival of a species

      Morne - 2012-01-12 12:06

      Sorry Ed, but I can never justify the means. It is the human race's arrogance to believe we can play god over all living things whilst disillusioned by it's reward (usually money) to justify it that not only sees us, but basically everything around us fall apart. We count our riches and celebrate our intelligence and 'advances' daily with little to no regard at what costs that may come. And every once in a while when we try and 'fix' one of our mistakes we do so with the arrogance of justifying death or killing. Some might see sense in this, if not most - but for me its a simple illustration of just how disillusioned we have become not just on this issue, but everything.

      Morne - 2012-01-12 12:14

      Gerald, Killing is part of life, you just have to switch on to the National Geographic channel to see this. But this can hardly be justified as natural selection or killing for survival.

      Gerald - 2012-01-12 12:37

      Dear Morne You cannot justify the means because you yourself have passed judgement, so pray tell...what makes this act it the killing for thrills (short term effect) or killing to 1) raise awareness 2) empower communities to become involved 3) raise funds to better fight poaching 4) control populations in confined geographical spaces 5) bring financial rewards to communities that act as a whole to protect wild life? On a lighter note...what did you have for breakfast or lunch, did you enjoy it?

      Gerald - 2012-01-12 12:59

      Sure Morne, I agree...but do you not agree that greater involvement by communities would yield better results against you not think community members would be better suited in this fight against poaching than formal institutions (eg: police, conservation groups)? Do you not think this would detract future poachers? Furthermore, with rising population levels the game reserves need more land, we s people we are already fighting for land, do you not think bringing communities into the mix and motivating them to provide further land for financial gains rather than for altruistic earthly reasons would also yield better results? We all hate poaching and the thing that is worse for me than death of a rhino is loss of human life, even though tha life belonged to a poacher...

      Ed - 2012-01-12 15:33 an ideal world i would agree with you. this is however not, and for wildlife it is the furthest from ideal. you have to be get out of the bubble and be realistic. the reality is that it is not just humans that are the problem, it is the mindset in the china and the east that makes them think that rhino horn will give them a hard-on. it is the fact that for many poor communities, been given some clothes, food, a gun and R4000 is the best thing that has ever happened. If you had never had anything, would you not do anything? get real. that is why the poaching can never be stopped by shooting the poor poacher. the mindset of the consumer needs to be changed. however, fewer poor communities will be willing to get involved with poaching and will tip the cops off, if they stand to benefit from conserving the animals... think about it.

      Ed - 2012-01-12 15:36

      PS: i say this from a conservationist perspective. i am very involved with various conservation projects from leopards, to rhino, to penguins. the fact is that there really is no hope to conserve animals. we can only try and preserve what remains for future generations and hope that they do not make the same mistake that our parents generation has. PS: read a book called 'last chance to see'.

      Kyle - 2012-01-12 16:16

      @Gerald - So you equate the killing for money as the same as the killing for food? kill to survive too you is the same as to kill for fun? wow... what a warped sense of view....

      Gerald - 2012-01-12 18:34

      kyle I do not equate killing for money to killing for fun, nor am I saying killing for amusement equates to killing for survival. I am saying killing animals is part of human life, and whatever the reason it will happen, I condone this specific incidence because it seems the most sustainable way to reduce poaching. It isn't just the rhinos I care for, in fact my compassion to rhinoes is as far as it will allow the species to thrive so that my child and hers will get to see date it still offends me that human life is taken to preserve them, which is necessary I know. The two men killed in the Kruger today is a waste, and they probably did what they did for financial reward, so it is the poachers here, mostly black rangers, at risk, to feed their families, whilst it is people in the far east who r be fitting from the "medicinal" properties of the horn...getting the surrounding communities involved will conciencitise people and hopefully detract local would be poachers...its a win win...for the prize of one controlled killing...if that is warped thinking, to trade one rhino for the lives of many others and the lives of human beings, thn I don't know...

      Hugh - 2012-01-13 11:35

      @Morne, so tell me, what do you braai on weekends? Sower boeries? If your not a vegetarian, dont make ridiculous comments about killing animals.

      lynsey.rimbault - 2012-01-13 14:25

      So all 'killing' is wrong? If you believe that I would like to point out that by definition you should be a vegetarian. Are you? Or is killing for taste a good reason and killing for money not one?

      John - 2012-01-14 10:02

      @ubhejane. I am a bit confused my friend at your 1000 thumbs up post in favour of Morne. You are an ardent supporter of Save The Rhino organization, you have their Avatar super imposed on your Facebook cover. Why is it that you do not support their paper They themselves have stated that relocation and blah blah blah have more often than not failed. They are also not against the culling of certain males for the protection of the species?

      John - 2012-01-14 10:21

      I have read all the above sub comments and have to agree with Ed and Gerald, I think Ian Player knows a lot more on this subject than all of us put together, he is totally devoted to the saving of these majestic creatures. The rest of us naturally find it unpalatable to consent to a culling, I could never even take aim at a Rhino.

      John - 2012-01-14 10:26

      @EVERYONE whether you are for or against I urge you to read this paper from the Save The Rhino Organization.

  • Ed - 2012-01-12 10:35

    ...Unfortunately, as much as i loath hunting, if done right, it does play a major role in conservation. In this case, the community will receive some of the funds and the rest will go to rhino conservation... also remember that most of the time, the lower grade poachers who are tasked with doing the actual killing, come from local communities. Do you not think that local communities, if they share in the profit from one rhino, will be more willing to secure the safety of the remaining rhinos, knowing that in a year or two, because those rhinos are breeding well, that another one may be hunted and that they will share in the profits? Sad, but true and it is crucial...local communities play a CRUCIAL role in saving the rhino. It is not only the little A$$hole Chinese who need to play a role, it is all of us, together with the poor communities.

  • leon.vanderwesthuizen - 2012-01-12 10:38

    Why would anybody want to hunt an animal they can't eat? If that is the way conservationist feel about Rhinos, how do they expect the public to feel anything for Rhinos?

      cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-12 10:44

      Wonder what will happen to the horns?

  • Craig - 2012-01-12 10:40

    I would also pay good money... to hunt the hunter! Let him loose in the bush & I'll hunt him.

  • Gordon - 2012-01-12 10:41

    Dr Player is 100% correct. People sitting in offices on the internet have no idea how conservation is managed nor how it has to pay for itself to remain viable.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:38


  • Gavin - 2012-01-12 10:43

    I keep having visions of Rhino's hunting us, and saying, it's free as there are so many of us...

  • Tamandjaz - 2012-01-12 10:44

    What concerns me now is the fact that it has now been splashed accross national media that Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has a 'surplus' of rhinos... we might as well just hold up a welcome card to the poachers! FYI poachers, here is a whole lot of rhinos we dont want!

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 12:56

      Only idiots don't know about rhino in Mkhuze and Hluhluwe Imfolozi. Nobody had to tell them.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:39

      Especially as their boards depicts rhino!

  • chiepner - 2012-01-12 10:45

    Money money money - and thats all everyone seems to care about now. 22 Rhino's killed in 2012 so far - 2012 is 12 days old. Yet I fail to understand how an endangered specie can be connected to the word "surplus".

      Charl - 2012-01-12 11:12

      I see many people not involved in conservation or game farming making a lot of emotional and badly informed remarks. Have a poll among true South African conservationists and reputable game farmers and you will see a clear majority supporting controlled and ethical hunting of white rhinos. It is simple business sense, and yes conservation is also a business even in the case of National Parks. To survive they need to protect their assets and generate an income to pay for their expenses. "Surplus" does not mean to many animals, it may mean to many for a particular area or not fitting the biological management plan. For those "stadsjapies" making comments from your office perspective let me explain. Rhinos operate in social herd structure headed by a dominant bull. Every bull defends his teritory. If there are too many of these sub groups in a reserve they come into conflict leading to violent clashes. The wounds caused in these fights fester and lead to a slow agonising death. Certainly a well aimed shot by a good hunter is a better alternative. Secondly one bull will breed with several cows but bulls and cows are born in a close to 50:50 ratio. Harvesting mature surplus bulls to generate income to pay for the protection of the rest of the breeding groups are therefore not effecting the growth of the rhino population but actually enhanching it. Wild animals no longer live in vast wilderness areas but in relatively limited reserves requiring human and humane intervention.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 12:56

  • Bronwyn - 2012-01-12 10:45

    Whether it's legally done or illegally, the end result is still the same... one less Rhino.

      Gordon - 2012-01-12 13:57

      Which a requirement if you property can only cope with a limited number and there is no market or ability to sell a live rhino.

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-12 10:56

    As much as I detest hunting and feel strongly that rhino poaching will destroy our natural heritage, I tend to agree with Dr Player on this one, think logically: The rhino is in a community reserve, relocation will be costly (who pays) and quite honestly no-one wants rhinos due to the poaching threat. By someone paying to shoot this rhino the community as a whole sees the benefit of conservation, they get money for the upliftment of their community and the cash wont fall into the hands of a handful of greedy poachers and their handlers. It gives the community the incentive to preserve the species into the future. The community will see that a rhino sold to a hunter will bring them far more benefits than a poacher ever will, they will ensure that poaching activity in the area is curtailed and are likely to inform the authorities of any poachers in their midst.

      MissGremlin - 2012-01-12 11:00

      Agreed. However, they could just as easily "sell" the rhino or the rights to name it, to a large sponsor for the same amount of money. Selling the right to kill it, is way past neccessary.

      The Real Unskinny - 2012-01-12 12:28

      I imagine any major corporate would JUMP at the chance to sponsor the relocation based on the amount of publicity that can be generated. I guess we'll never know, because the highly esteemed Dr Player didn't bother to try.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 12:59

      @Peter - grow up. You have Google - use it. Ian Player learned and forgot more about conservation yesterday than you ever knew. You are insulting the father of South African conservation. EDUCATE YOURSELF!!!!

      PaasHaas - 2012-01-12 13:32

      @ Real Unskinny - sure relocation is an option and clearly the guy is willing to pay nearly R1 million could use it for that purpose, he however has the cash and is willing to part with it because it makes him feel like a real man to kill the rhino (which clearly he wont feel if he has to pay to keep it alive). If we take the relocation option, the rhino (apparently an old bull past its prime) is moved out of an area which it is familiar with, at great cost and then has to be placed in a holding boma and fed as it acclimatises itself to its new surroundings (more costs). Due to the massive poaching problem more money is spent on securing the rhino while in the boma and once its released into the wild again. As it is an old male it is unlikely to ever mate again and will never be a territorial bull and thus it will merely be pushed around by younger sexually active bulls and possibly even killed by another rhino. In the end the sponsor will get good PR for saving one rhino that will cost an arm & a leg to keep alive only to be possibly killed in its new location by a poacher or another rhino and the community where the rhino currently lives get nothing, leaving them wondering why they bother to conserve animals.

      AmandaMojo - 2012-01-12 14:45

      What a genius idea!! Quickly! kill it before it dies! Quickly!! Kill it before the poachers get it! Real enlightened!

  • Dave - 2012-01-12 11:02

    I feel Mr. Player's comments are spot on here. If the considerably large amount of funds from controlled rhino hunting are feed back into conversation and breeding programs, buying of private land for growth of rhino populations and increased anti-poaching efforts then rhino populations will grow in time and not decline. At the moment all funds from rhino poaching don't go back into conservation efforts at all but rather poachers pockets, and that will guarantee a decline in their numbers. If 1 rhino is killed so that there are funds to ensure that more than 1 may be bred and protected in future then in the long run that is a solution.

      vincent.surics - 2012-01-12 12:23

      In theory reality it's a different story!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:40

      No Vincent, it is a reality. how do you think the rhino population was recovered in the 80's?

      Hugh - 2012-01-13 11:50

      With out the legal hunt, who pays for the rangers to patrol the reserve? Where would the money come from to ensure the fences are maintained? Who will pay to fix the water pumps? Where does the diesel come from to operate the vehicles and equipment needed to run a reserve? I dont see anyone on this site offering to donate their funds to private reserves or to assist maintaining the status quo. Shame poor Bambie would be dieing of hunger if it was left to you lot.

  • Kogie - 2012-01-12 11:05

    the only time one should be allowed tokill an animal, is if he /she is going to eat it. even the big carnivores of the jungle dont kill mature rhinos ,elephant etc.

      Garth - 2012-01-12 11:40

      The big carnivores of the jungle . . . where you from? We do not have jungles, nor do our white rhino inhabit jungles. And lions kill elephant and rhino, in our part of the `woods'.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:42

      @Garth, or the veld even. Lions are known to bring down elephant, rhino and buffalo.. But if you actually even knew a little about wildlife you would know this, but clearly you have no clue and so your comments are merely uninformed knee jerk crap.

  • Catherine - 2012-01-12 11:06

    If it really was for conservation, why doesn't the businessman just donate the money. But he has to kill a rhino, so it's really all about ego and financial greed.

  • Bernard - 2012-01-12 11:10

    How can you have a surplus of Rhino in the country with the constant slaughter in Kruger National Park & other private reserves continues, the surplus will soon twindle to overly critically endangered, unfortuneatly the same cannot be said for the poachers & "Hunters". Allowing the shooting of rhino cannot be justified, no matter what the price or whom-so-ever gave up the land for seemingly the right reasons, ultimatly the land was given up for human enrichment no matter how large or small a scale these funds are distributed to the members of the community.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:44

      So how do you propose we save the rhino and ensure an increase in population and how do we find the funding for this and encourage local communities from poaching?? You bitch and moan but have no answer do you?

  • Deeteem - 2012-01-12 11:11

    How's this for a suggestion - let the people look after them selves and stop expecting hand outs and when this hunter shoots the rhino, I hope he wounds the animal who inturn gores the hunter to death !! Ian Player - all of a sudden you are turning into a man who forgot his principals !!!

      Garth - 2012-01-12 11:43

      You have no idea of the principles of the man and you certainly do not know anything about conservation. Too many self-serving, bleeding-heart ignorants on this site!

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 14:47

      And they can take their 1800 hectares back and turn it into a cattle farm. That would help rhino conservation how ..... exactly?

      winston.wiggill - 2012-01-13 07:25

      Deteem, as your profile pic reflects, you are caught with your pants down. You are obviously a man of limited knowledge on the the subject, and even less knowledge on Player and his heroic efforts in conservation. In fact it is people like you who will hug the Rhino into extinction!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:45

      @winston... amen!

  • Cherie - 2012-01-12 11:21

    In this day and age its all about managing the animal species we have. We dont have great expanses of wilderness for animals to roam free and to protect them we have to manage them. Most people have this bunny hugging idealistic view that the rhino will survive without proper management and the private game farmers who actually keep the species alive! These farmers spend millions on aquiring rhino and more importantly keeping them safe with fencing, patrols etc. By legalising trade in rhino horn at least there is incentive for breeders to keep rhino. Unfortunately if it doesnt pay it doesnt stay. That is the reality! It is 2012! And hunting, if controlled, as barbaric as is to most of us is also part of the whole conservation cycle ensures that the rhino keeps its value and continues to survive in the modern world.

      winston.wiggill - 2012-01-13 07:26

      and Cherie, anyone who puts emotion aside and uses their logic will agree with you. Well said.

  • Gerda - 2012-01-12 11:24

    What UTTER crap. Last year alone over 400 rhinos killed, this week alone 8 and possible 3 more in Kruger National Park, and this prick comes with a story of surplus. If one region has a surplus why not donate some to locations that are in need of rhinos? One of these days the only rhinos we will see is at a zoo and the rest will be extinct.Isn't there a good harted samaritan that has a million to spare and save this rhino... something like ADOPT A RHINO thing.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 13:00

      And put it where. Nobody wants aged male white rhino. ---->

      Garth - 2012-01-12 13:16

      The criminal act of poaching (killing illegally) an animal and the conservation of a species through man-management is as unrelated as your post is to your nom de plume. Conservation in this country, since the death of apartheid, has had an unbelievable battle against the drain of knowledgeable people and the leaching of funds. If we could sell all the `surplus' animals for 1 million rand each, this would ensure the survival of their progeny. When the communities surrounding our natural areas, benefit from the conservation of fauna and flora in those areas, they nurture and treasure those areas. In the 70s and 80s the war on rhino was as ghastly as it is today and only through educated conservation and co-operation with the local communities was the war won. Dr. Player was integral to that fight. A `surplus' rhino bull is one past his natural worth to the species: he is no longer able to maintain a territory, is not attractive to the breeding females because of this and may through preponderance, injure some younger, more valuable bull in a quest to relive his glory days. But more sinister than this, is the propensity of older bulls to kill `baby' male rhinos in an effort to couple with the cow. In pre-recorded-historical times, elderly and inutile humans would be expelled from the tribe, for the good of the tribe. Think about it . . .

      John - 2012-01-14 11:43

      @Gungets, you're wasting your time, this Reunionofdaft minds tit can't read and i bet he hasn't even looked at the Save The Rhino document, he just gets his rocks off talking shyte!

  • dawie.snyman - 2012-01-12 11:28

    I think people are confusing a moral issue with a conservation issue. Hunting is about morals and feeling sorry for a single animal. Conservation is about protecting the species as a whole and not a speicific single animal.

      The Real Unskinny - 2012-01-12 12:32

      @Peter: Please stop wasting precious oxygen.

  • Sonja - 2012-01-12 11:43

    "To allow the continued expansion of rhino range and numbers, and so enable overall numbers to grow..." Please can someone explain to me, how killing a rhino (esp. after 8 carcasses were found in KNP) can increase their numbers at this point of their endangerment...?

      Mike - 2012-01-12 11:56

      Try to focus here Sonja - the money paid for the hunt will be used to expand the farm to allow breeding of even more rhino.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 13:09

      And remove an old dominant male that is upsetting the balance of the rhino population. A younger, more genetically diverse, rhino was killed at ... guess ... Makhasa .. a couple of years ago by a bigger dominant male. But please don't let facts get in the way of your argument, we would not want that.

  • Hendrik - 2012-01-12 11:46

    I just browsed the comments here, and I must say I am amazed at how pathetically stupid the SA people have become! For a nation priding it on "biltong" we have dropped really low - or are we now only eating biltong exclusively from canned sources, i.e. abbatoirs, beef? Hunting and game management practises are clearly way outside the scope and understanding of most of you couch potatoes: - We will not stop poaching, but we want to stop organized hunting. - Organized hunting puts R1m/rhino on the table to help the species with. - Poaching does not give any return. I dare you: If you have the kahunas to remark negatively on the organized hunt, then outbid the hunter, and buy the rhino yourself, and save its life - only to be poached (and killed) a few weeks later anyway. After all, it is only about the money. The money needed to fund anti-poaching, and breeding programs, and to refund communities for their conservation-related sacrifices. Hmm - You didn't think about this before - did you? Or should I say you have not thought - period?

      Matthew - 2012-01-12 12:06

      I sahre your sentiments Hendrik. All these responses you talk of are just emotional responses. Its easier to respond like that, than actually taking the time to think or investigate the trollip that you want to vomit into existence.

      Jack - 2012-01-12 12:12

      No one is denying that Hunting generates conservation funds, however one needs to tread carefully when dealing with endangered species, Rhino numbers are falling by the day, and you want to also legalize hunting them as well? Where is the logic in that? The animal needs protection right now, before you know it there will be nothing left only one cow....oh if only we didn't hunt that bull. Decides selling rhino generates just as much cash as hunting them.

      Matthew - 2012-01-12 12:23

      I hear you Jack, however, people on this forum are very much denying the issue of conservation vs. cash income from Hunting. I agree that we are standing on a razors edge right now with regards to the african Rhino, but the unfortunate truth is that until we stop allowing every man and his brothers, auntie, uncle etc etc into this country with free riegn to do antyhing, then nothing will change. It is South African government who is at fault here, an no moritorium on hunting will stop these poachers. So do we want to let the rhino go down to the poachers which is enevitable, or can we provide conservation finance by still allowing upstanding citizens to hunt them legally?

      winston.wiggill - 2012-01-13 07:34

      Jack, re-read all the non emotive comments, speak to conservation experts, people who make it their lives and living to preserve animals, including Rhino, like Player, but not only him, many others and then you will not ask that question if you are a logical and pragmatic being. (Which it sounds as if you are.) The way to save the Rhino is to enable and legitimize trade in Rhino products and the commercialization thereof. Why? Because then it becomes regulated, in fact that is how the Rhino population grew to where it is now from near extinction in RSA in the 1970's. It was this process and the commitment of logical pragmatic people like Player who turned the rhino population around. And now the emotional non logical rants of many people who are uninformed are going to cause the rhino to be hugged into extinction if people listen to the uninformed who always seem to have so much to say about a subject they know so little about.

  • customdesign - 2012-01-12 12:16

    You people are thinking with your emotions, not your heads, saving the Rhino's costs money, and on the whole hunters care about the protection of species more than your average Joe. They probably give more to the protection of animals than the majority of South Africans

  • The Real Unskinny - 2012-01-12 12:19

    No excuses. Someone explain a "surplus" of endangered species to me please.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 13:03 ---> there you go. Read. You will still argue, but these are the facts, from people at the coalface of conservation.

      Charl - 2012-01-12 14:54

      @Unskinny and others. If you take the trouble to read earlier posts you may understand. But for this you need to understand business principles, conservation, biology and statistics. At the risk of generalising I would venture to say that most "bunny huggers" are from the educated in humanities and not sience, but let me try again. Do you eat meat? Well the same as with cattle births are more or less 50:50 male/female, most farmers sell the male weaners for slaughter and keep a select few to become replacement bulls in their herd. Far fewer female weaners go to the slaughter houses as many is kept by the farmer or bought by other farmers that want to start farming or expand their herds. So in a typical well run commercial cattle farm you will find a ratio of 1 bull to about 30-50 cows. No as there is no meat market for bull rhinos the best way reducing their numbers would be to harvest them by well controlled paid hunting. If you analyse the poaching reports you should notice that by far most rhinos killed by poachers are cows (often with dire consequences for small calves). This is a reflection of the gender split of the national rhino herd. If we do not remove the SURPLUS bulls(yes that is what it is) it will not only mess with the optimum operational process, lead to more natural losses but also make it easier for poachers to find a rhino on the reserve, the killing will just increase.

      John - 2012-01-14 11:48

      @Unskinny. read the F$$$ing document moron I suppose you'll come back and say they don't know what they are talking about.

  • lebo.lathane - 2012-01-12 12:19

    Mr 'Unidentified hunter' clearly has truck loads of money to burn. So out of the goodness of his own heart and in the spirit of promoting biodiversity, why doesn't he donate the R1m to Ezemvelo and find another hobby...paintball shooting is fun too.

      vincent.surics - 2012-01-12 12:24

      Exactly!! Well said

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:50

      You simply do not understand conservation... and the need to cull an old bull past his breeding capabilities who could be dangerous to younger males resulting in NO breeding. Rhino breeding is extremely difficult and takes years to replenish even one calf.. I suggest you go and ask the experts for their opinion instead of ignorantly ranting on a news forum..

  • vincent.surics - 2012-01-12 12:19

    "Player, commenting on the controversial plan to allow an unidentified hunter to shoot the animal as a trophy at a cost of R960 000, said legal hunting had made a significant contribution to the recovery of the formerly critically endangered species" So Ian Player I have 3 questions: 1) are you saying that rhino population is increasing every year? 2) are you provided with audited financial statements showing how the blood money is being allocated? 3) Is your ego any different in size to that of the trophy hunters?

      Matthew - 2012-01-12 12:37

      Vincent, your argument is so childish. Hunting has nothing to do with Ego. real men/Real Hunters, do not have ego issues. Guys who drive yellow HumVees with Chrome spinners have ego issues. I dont shoot animals to give me a hard-on. And i wont be donating funds to another corrupt system so that i can see my cash washed down the proverbial "system" I would rather spend my money on a sport that assists far more in conservation than what your benificiaries do. And by the way, Rhino numbers are on the increase Mr well informed. There are still more births than deaths. Not that this makes the situation better, im just saying check your facts before you puke!

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 13:05

      Vincent - yes. The population of rhino is climbing year on year in South Africa. ---> ---> The audited statements of Ezemvelo are available. Attend one of their meetings and ask.

      vincent.surics - 2012-01-12 13:39

      "According to acclaimed rhino scientists, if poaching continues at its current rate South Africa’s rhino herd will go into population decline by mid-2012"

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 14:21

      Vincent - "stop rhino poaching" - yes, Yes, YES. Why, because it is indiscriminate and takes out prime breeding herds. This hunt takes a non-breeding, terrain dominant male that is endangering the correct genetic stock of the region. Poaching and hunting are two very different things. Please, please, please - read the link. Please supply the names of these "acclaimed rhino scientists" - I will phone them to clrify their and my position. But if the folk at the rhino resource centre and Save the Rhino international say something I tend to believe it before one of the 3000 organisations that "oppose" everything. Please read this link, then point out the problems with the argument, then we talk again. --->

      Hugh - 2012-01-13 12:49

      @Vincent, you hit the nail on the head, rhino Poaching.

  • Ted - 2012-01-12 13:20

    How do you explain to rural and relatively poorly educated (ito conservation and rhino "trade") that have been educated on the value of conservation for future income generation what the difference is between a "legitimate" shooting and money income vs an "illegitimate/poaching" and the money from this? Why could the wealthy individual not make himself popular by shooting with a paintball gun or darting the animal and donating the money to rhino conservation rather? We have had such an increase in rhino poaching that it is difficult for anyone to understand the so-called legitimate killing rather than relocation/donation.

      Keighley-Ann - 2012-01-12 14:15

      WELL said!!!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:54

      Because he is an old bull past his breeding capabilities who is territorial and WILL prevent younger bulls from breeding thereby reducing the chance of rhino population expansion, furthermore, it will also encourage the local population to conserve the rhino and not poach it. Go and do some bloody research..

  • Byron - 2012-01-12 13:21

    what I want to know is, If this is a trophy hunt then surely he gets to keep the horn??? Now if im right the average weight of the two horns on a white rhino is 6kgs??? And at the going price of $65000 a kg, that would mean that this hunter can make a possible profit of 2 million rand on his hunt. Hmmmmmmm. I think hunting murderers and rapist is a far better idea that the whole country could benefit from.

      Charl - 2012-01-12 15:04

      Go study the SITES and National laws. Only the person that owned the rhino that produced the horn is allowed to legally own it. You can not sell it, donate it or give it away in any manner. So there is no legal way for him to trade in the horn. He is only allowed to keep it as part of his "trophy". It is actually a burden owning any rhino horns in the current evironment as you become a target (how many armed robberies are committed for far less). That is why the other topical debate is whether farmers and conservationist in possesion of naturally collected horn (through natural deaths) should be allowed to trade them legally. But the debate on hunting is above the comprehension of many on this site I wont even start that debate.

  • Arthur - 2012-01-12 14:10

    I hate any form of matter what the trophy is People should sell their guns and learn to "shoot" with a camera.

  • Thorina - 2012-01-12 14:12

    En dit regverdig nou die feit dat nog 'n renoster doodgemaak gaan word??????? Nee man maak oop jul oe

  • Keighley-Ann - 2012-01-12 14:14

    I'm sorry but when a species is endangered there is no 'surplus' rhino!

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 14:53

      Yes there is such a thinng. PLease read the article, there is a part of the document called "The surplus rhino problem". It is very well explained. Other questions are answered, probably some that you have no even thought about yet. ------>

      carolinebza - 2012-01-12 16:29

      Yes there is. If you have very limited habitat and no routes into other territories open, and food production in that habitat needs to be enough to support breeding, then a couple of elderly males foraging is enough to demolish your breeding program, with all the knock-on problems of genetic strains dying out, loss of genetic diversity, increasing incidence of recessive autosomal genetic disease, inbreeding depression, etc, until the whole population in that area becomes non-viable. Poaching is as devastating as it is partly because of the numbers, but also because there is no discernment about the value of the poached animal to the breeding stock - they only care about the horn. In the past, nature would have culled the old males in times of food stress, and a social group would have increased its foraging range to find more food. Today that can't happen because we've done so much damage to natural habitats, built roads and towns across foraging routes etc. It is disgusting that we've brought the species to the point where we have to take over nature's role and destroy a beautiful animal to keep other members of the species viable, but that's the harsh fact of the matter.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 17:36

      Caroline, we can argue about AGW, but at least we see eye to eye on this. And well put. Smaak it stukkend.

      John - 2012-01-14 12:00

      @Gungets, Keighley -Ann is another one who hasn't taken the time to read the paper from SAVE THE RHINO. ORG ....Keighley, read it already please

  • proudfoots - 2012-01-12 14:17

    If the guy has money to burn why not give the money to the community and pay for the relocation to Kruger where they have just lost 8 Rhinos... why does he want the dead rhino on his wall when we can all applaud him when we see it alive in the veld?

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 17:28

      Kruger does not want it. Kruger has excess males, as do all our national reserves. Kruger needs breeding females. A new bull out of his prime is quite likely to kill both female and male rhins that he encounters. I am not making this up, but reposting a link I have already posted here 13 times is pointless. Sending this male to any reserve will in all likelihood cause more rhino deaths.

      Alva - 2012-01-12 22:10

      Gungets. Good point. My problem is with the poaching. How many rhino cows were poached? Frightening numbers? One or two? The reaction to the tender to hunt is a reaction to the numbers of rhino poached. Should we not have a poaching problem and an overall surplus of rhino, this extreme reaction to rhino hunting etc, would not have taken place. While there is the remotest chance of rhino under threat, the protests will continue.

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 07:22

      Velastardust - We need to separate conservation by way of population control and poaching. Poaching is already upsetting the balance, an emotional reaction which impedes the excellent record of Ezemvelo in conservation is the very last thing we need. All we now is some over-zealous populist politician to get involved, win a few votes by stopping rhino population control, winning the battle against THIS ONE RHINO and losing the war for the species. Think it won't happen - it can and it will. We need cool, thinking heads, not knee-jerk reactions.

      Alva - 2012-01-13 08:50

      Gungets-It appears that there is no co-ordinated plan for wildlife conservation in South Africa. Ezemvelo doing their thing in KZN and the pathetic attempts by SANparks to stop the poaching. The conservation and protection of rhino should be national. One has to ask why Ezemvelo are getting it right and now sit with surplus bulls and Kruger has become a slaughter field. At a time when we have lost more than 1 rhino a day to poaching over the last 25 months, the tender to shoot 1 rhino was very badly timed, inappropriate and unfortunate. Had there have been a macro plan for rhino conservation,I'm sure Ezemvelo would not have advertised the tender at this time. I remain of the opinion that it must take a really BIG man with a really BIG GUN who would derive any pleasure from hunting a canned rhino.

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 09:48

      Couple of things. 1. It is not a canned hunt at all. It is being run according to the ethics of "fair chase", which is a walk-and-stalk in the bush. No drugs, no vehicles. ---> 2. This tender is nothing out of the ordinary. There are another 5 that are out there as well. It is simply opportunistic of the new "anti-cruelty" lobby that has brought it to prominance. ---> 3. I recently did the Lebombo Eco-Trail in Kruger, right along the eastern border from Croc Bridge to Crooks Corner. The work Sanparks is doing is the best they can possibly do, i personally saw that, the patrols, the plans and the very solid coordination of resources. What they need is more money, but efforts to raise money through the fruits of conservation have lead to exactly this sort of response. Everybody has an objection, but very VERY few have any solutions that are viable at all. ---> 4. Delaying the necessary removal of this big dominant male which does not fit in with the ecological or breeding plan of Mkuze might well cost the life of other rhino, both male and female, in the reserve. When it kills another rhino the very same people who are vocal here about killing it will be howling with protest that Ezemvelo did not do anything to stop it. ----> The very last thing I want to do is stir up resentment here, but people really need to inform themselves more about the status quo, what is being done.

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 09:53

      And the last thing. If people really want to help - DONATE MONEY. Not to "Outraged SA citizens against poaching", or any of the thousands of "save the rhino" organisations that have sprung up. Research before you donate, then do it intelligently and with purpose. This is my challenge to every single person that has commented on this thread. Put your money where you outrage is, dig into your pocket and support conservation. Unless you are a scientist, do it in the same way as you would donate blood, not justifying it with a 1000 reasons why you can just moan and not act. Ezemvelo have a 100 year very proud record, they are the custodians of 50% of the world rhino population, they are getting it right. Show them the money, either in cash or by visiting their reserves. It really is the right thing to do.

  • juan.beukes - 2012-01-12 14:30

    I personally think, like mentioned below, the legalising of hunting will send a conflicting message to the general public. People will only see that Rhinos are now not as endangered as reported and will not support the initiative to save these majestic and wonderful animals. Regardless of how much money is raised by allowing these people to hunt the Rhinos, the general public will no more lend a helping hand to a species that may disappear from the face of the earth within the next couple of years. We've already witnessed the extinction of the Vietnamese Rhino... Sadly the poaching will only stop once this species has been hunted to extinction and then they will just move onto the next available specie..

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 14:56

      The Vietnamese rhino would probably have survived if it had been conserved like our have been, with controlled hunting since 1968. Sadly, no economic value was ever attached to the Viet rhino, so it was hunted out.

      Alva - 2012-01-13 09:10

      Juan-I could not agree with you more. The perception Ezemvelo have created is that there is a surplus of rhino.Enough to shoot. Although there may be a surplus in KZN, it does not help the crusade against poaching. It may entice more rhino poachers into the country to help themselves to the 'surplus' at about R1mil per horn. Ezemvelo should have thought this through in view of the amount of rhino poached nationally.

  • John - 2012-01-12 14:43

    Ian Player is past his sell by date!

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 15:40

      Eeeisch - when all else fails - ad hominum. Do you have any real educated comments on his argument?. Key word ... educated .....

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 18:06

      Thought so. Thumbs down but nothing to offer. No solutions, just a woeful shaking of the head and ignorant silence. Like a 3 year old actually. When you can't say anything worthwhile, get personal .. "You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny". Player is a collossus in conservation, commands respect from everyone that knows anything about conservation. But not you.

      Alva - 2012-01-12 22:17

      As much as I respect Ian Player, I don't have to agree with his point of view and he may be wrong. This entire controversy has been brought about by the number of rhino being poached. As it so happens, the majority of people commenting on this issue are against hunting. As I have stated before, some things should not be about money. Shooting a rhino during this epidemic of poaching is extremely inappropriate.

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 07:23

      Velastardust -

  • Michael - 2012-01-12 15:11

    relocation relocation relocation!

      Charl - 2012-01-12 15:19

      In an OWL market? To whom, to whom, to whom?

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 15:38

      Attempted solutions to the surplus male problem A number of alternatives to hunting surplus males have been tried over the years including sending them to zoos, attempting to sell surplus males, and creating male-only populations in reserves that are too small to hold breeding populations. This last approach has not been particularly successful or popular. For example, in Makasa, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, a bull in a small male-only population killed the other two males. /cont/

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 15:38

      Attempts to exchange or introduce adult males to bring in new blood to populations have also not had much success, with the result that it is recommended that adult females be introduced instead. The argument that surplus males can be used to “test” potential new areas for reintroduction also has limited applicability. This is because breeding females need to be on a higher nutritional plane than males successfully to conceive and raise calves at a rapid rate. A “survival” diet for a small number of male rhinos is not the same as a diet for optimal breeding. Therefore, the mere fact that a few surplus males survive in a new area is no guarantee that females will breed well if introduced. In addition, mortality risks when setting up new populations appear to be reduced if founder animals are introduced at the same time. Concerns have been expressed by some that if males-only populations were to be established, and females introduced at a much later date, mortality rates of females following introduction may increase. If an area is big enough to set up a breeding population of black rhinos, ideally one should proceed straight to setting up the breeding population and not start with males only. /cont/

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 15:38

      If one starts with males, the problem remains of sourcing more females than males in future.Demand for surplus males has been limited, and as a result these males have not generated much revenue to help fund conservation. Live males auctioned in KwaZulu-Natal in 2004 fetched an average price of US $21,130.

  • carpejugulim - 2012-01-12 16:25

    Jack I suggest that you go and read The White Rhino Saga written by Ian player, the beginning of conservation of the white rhino. There is a big difference between culling and controlled hunting. As much as the thought is abhorrent to many people each has a time and a place. Grazing land can only support x amount of animals and once grazing land becomes overcrowded it becomes overgrazed resulting in problems like soil erosion which takes years to recover from. Yes there are animals sold off to zoos, nature reserves and private game farms but not as many as are necessary to keep the population manageable. Poaching is vile and should carry the death penalty. Culling is sometimes a necessity with carcasses being burned or buried and little to no financial remuneration. Controlled hunting on a permit system comes with financial remuneration thus allowing for more land to be bought and new genetic material in the form of new animals bought in.

      Assis - 2012-01-12 17:14

      Could not agree more!

  • Gail - 2012-01-12 16:39

    Here I was thinking that the rhinos are being poached to extinction all over SA but now we are expected to accept that allowing a trophy hunter to PAY to shoot a particular rhino is different to the poachers who kill for money as well at considerable risk to themselves because rhino are endangered. Shaking my head here at this kind of reasoning.

      Charl - 2012-01-12 17:01

      It will serve well to listen objectively and try and understand the dynamics before making this one line subjective statements without adding meaningfull debate. A complex dilema like this is like an onion, the problem gets more complicated as you peel of the next layer and bring a wider perspective to it. The simple "no brainer" answers then becomes considerably less obvious. In the end you have to decide which priority is more important because you can not address them all. All the pro hunting group is saying is that as unpalatable it may be on an individual animal level it is the best for the survival of the species as has been proven all over. "Hunting" is as old as mankind. Poaching is unscientific random theft without regards to any norms or ethics while controlled hunting is the harvesting of a natural resource by the owner of the resource informed by good business practice. The proceeds go back into growing the business.

      Gungets - 2012-01-12 17:34

      Then stop shaking your head and educate yourself. They have been hunting them in a controlled fashion since 1968. Now if hunting them was causing extinction, why have their numbers climbed in every single year since then. So, your logic is flawed. !@#$%!@#$%, I give up. You and the others like you here will hug the species to death.

      Alva - 2012-01-12 22:23

      Gungets. The hunting tender come at a very inappropriate time. People with big guns who pay to shoot animals they don't even eat? I won't go there. So if your theory is right about all the male rhinos as in surplus. Present the documented facts?

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 07:28 -----> ---> the first document actually refers to the Makhasa district and 2 males being killed by another large male. ---> Ezemvelo, and Ian Player, brought the rhino back from the brink, they really know what they are doing. We are animal lovers but not scientists. If I need a heart bypass, I go to a heart surgeon, not to Cardies just because they sell loads of valentine cards with hearts on them.

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 07:30

      And this is not a new thing - hunts have been happening since 1968 - this is just an opportunist gesture by another well-intentioned but ill informed "activist" who has started yet another "animals rights" organisation and is looking for publicity. Seriously, go to science in this case, they know what they are doing

  • Assis - 2012-01-12 17:37

    The feedback with regards to the hunting on Rhino is pathetic. There is a HUGE difference between hunting and poaching. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Ian Player have an long track record of conservation. I'm not a hunter but can understand the critical role conservation management plays in an area where the animals numbers are growing in a specific area. Furthermore having the right ratio between bulls and cows will improve fertility of more Rhino's...Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Ian Player are credible and will do more to protect Rhino's in the next 100 years than many other organisations claiming to protect the Rhino.

      Alva - 2012-01-12 22:26

      So, will Ezemvelo and Ian Player be able to replace the 787 rhinos poached in the last 25 months? If so, how soon?

      Assis - 2012-01-13 08:32

      @ Velastarust: Anti-poaching and conservation are two separate things. Poaching is a sad reality but to blame Ezemvelo and Ian Player is ridiculous ! I have no doubt that Ezevelo and Ian Player have done more and will do more to protect Rhino's in a sustainable way than many others. Re-inventing the wheel on successful Rhino management is pointless...My wish is that discernment is used...Ezemvelo and Ian Player are here for the long-term of Rhinos survival.

  • Heather - 2012-01-12 19:31

    There is no defending this Ian Player. With 11 more rhino killed this week alone, I am horrified that they anyone with any kind of decency could think of hunting rhino legally or otherwise. It is disgusting. Relocate if you have to, but let us hold onto as many of these wonderful creatures as we can. Let the b*****d who is willing to pay this amount of money and who of course wants to remain anonymous (cowards always do)be named and shamed.

      winston.wiggill - 2012-01-13 07:44

      Pathetic and useless comment from someone(Heather) who wishes to hug the Rhino into extinction, against someone (Player) who has spent his life successfully preserving animal species. Heather, please go find something that you know something about and comment there. Rhino are to precious and to scarce to be hugged into extinction by you and your ill/non informed ilk. This is not a game. It is the life and death of a species we are talking about here!

  • Alva - 2012-01-12 22:00

    I am very disappointed in Ian Player and his ilk. Last year we lost 443 rhino. 2010 we lost 333 rhino. This year to date we have already lost 11, almost one per day. STOP THE POACHING!!!!! What on earth is this about surplus rhino? This statement just begs for more Mozambicans and Asians to poach more. Extremely irresponsible!

      Gungets - 2012-01-13 07:35

      Please take the time to learn about Dr Ian Player. --->

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 09:58

      So velastardust, what have you done for conservation that is even remotely what Ian Player has done for decades? You are beyond ignorant, you been splashing your uninformed twaddle right through the comments section even though you are constantly slapped with facts and links for you to ge educate yourself on..

      John - 2012-01-14 12:11

      @PointBlank, simple there are none so stupid as those who refuse to learn, Stardust can't read, but hell he can type shyte.

      Alva - 2012-01-14 12:30

      PointBlank. What would you rather read? No one cares about the poaching of rhino or everyone is hot under the collar? I am familiar with the work of Dr Ian Player and the successful breeding of white rhino in KZN. However the hunting of one rhino is very badly timed. There seems to be no consolidated effort by government to protect the rhino, especially in Kruger.

  • Sarah - 2012-01-12 22:59

    Obviously it makes the guy feel like a big man. How sad.

  • Phillip Mkhombo - 2012-01-13 06:06

    I also agree with Player

  • winston.wiggill - 2012-01-13 07:12

    Listen to the people who have more knowledge on the subject than yourselves, these people have really contributed to saving Rhino, Player was one of the founding preservationists when it came to saving rhino. The rest of you are going to hug the rhino into extinction. Legalise the trade and and start selling the stockpiles of rhino horn held by the State. The way to save the rhino is to kill the market and break up the supply chain of the poaching kingpins, and the only way to do that is to legalise the trade in rhino, this will create a legal market and more people will make more ground available to grow the population of rhino.

  • Kyle - 2012-01-13 07:25

    Let these rubbish hunters run through the bush, will even give them a 1hour head start, then i will load up my .375 rifle, sommer put tracers in, then feel what it feels like, you waste of skin......

      roboman1 - 2012-01-13 08:19

      Kyle, you stupid little man. 1.How is that going to save the Rhino? 2. Why have you not done it yet? Answer to 1. It will not. Answer to 2. Because you are so typical of all these emotive mental midgets, you can blow emotion on NEWS24 but cannot provide any pragmatic and sensible solution to how to really save the Rhino. Listen to people like Player who have really helped save the Rhino, real men like Player, Kyle. (And PS, listen to people who really own 375's Kyle, people who really hunt poachers Kyle, but people who also really preserve Rhino. Do not comment on serious issues Kyle, when you do not have a logical, practical or intelligent solution. Wait until its Super15 time Kyle, then you can be as inane as you wish. That's your time Kyle, but the Rhino time is now, and Player knows best

  • nokwacha - 2012-01-13 09:13

    There are some very true comments, people dealing with their emotions and others trying to take the emotions out of the argument. SOme things to consider for all points: 1 If a species has no value we cannot save it, so if a rhino has a R1000000 value the community or landowner will protect it and all the others on the property as they are a great investment. 2: Where does most of the conservation money come from, you dont really hear of projects that are given millions to reasearch a rare fly or beatle or spider. Money goes towards high profile or flagship species i.e. the rhino, elephant, leopard etc. 3: The argument is an age old argument that has been raging for years to hunt or not to hunt. Hunting will take place and will generate valuable income to conserve areas of land that will directly conserve the rare spider or fly so that at some point reasearch can be undertaken. For all of you how arguing the case not to hunt the rhino how much money have you put aside to actively conserve the rhino without hunting or are you planning to donate the R960000 to the community so that they do not have to hunt the rhino. 4: Rhinos are being hunted in SA legally anyway so the fact that this one rhino being hunted has been aired is not a unique case. I have been into many taxidermys where they are mounting the hunted rhino. I beleive all of you have a vallid point and that everyones ethics are different, remember this we have to work together to build a sustainable Africa

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-13 10:00

      Yah, a thinker! Thanks nokwacha..