Staggering stats show rhino a day killed

2012-02-14 22:30

Johannesburg - Fifty-two rhino have been poached in South Africa so far this year, SA National Parks said on Tuesday.

The hardest hit areas continue to be the Kruger National Park and Limpopo province with 26 and 13 rhino poached there respectively, SANparks said.

The parastatal's CEO David Mabunda said the high number of rhino killings was worrying, but that the 30 arrests made so far and the steeper sentences imposed on convicted criminals, were encouraging.

"Conservation agencies and the police are seeing increasing co-operation from the public which has resulted in arrests in the Kruger National Park and some provinces being effective before the criminals even enter the parks," said Mabunda.

"The difficulty is pinning a suspected criminal to the actual crime because we are dealing with very wily and sophisticated individuals."

  • inwardk - 2012-02-14 22:52

    When all is said and done, what's the bet someone in Parliament is exposed as the king pin?

      Gungets - 2012-02-14 23:28

      I am not so sure about parliament, but would go with highly placed individuals in game conservation and am willing to bet the farm on the involvement of foreign embassy staff. Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese.

      John - 2012-02-14 23:49

      The Chinese embassy is in Pretoria.

      Vicker - 2012-02-15 07:59

      Some facts: 1)Rhino horn is a resource which grows back after it has been cut off 2)Cutting of a rhino's horn does not hurt the animal 3)Rhino horn sells for big bucks 4)The demand for rhino horn is not going to go away Now a solution: If you harvest the horn of 1000 rhino, and each horn weighs only 2kg on average, and at $50000/kg, we get to the sum of $100 000 000 - that's R750 000 000 to me and you. How much good can this sum of money be put to in conserving our rhino??? And the best is: next year we do it all again... See???? This is the difference between CONSERVATION and PRESERVATION... We have to learn to get over the emotional side of this issue, and deal with it logically and critically.

      Shining - 2012-02-15 09:02

      Vicker - You're a rare and welcome voice of reason and intelligence out there. Most of these people are clueless about the current legal aspects of rhino hunting; "could not be bothered" to educate themselves; cannot grasp the economic concept of supply and demand and the positive aspects that its model could bring to light in our current rhino crisis; and refuse to see the hypocrisy and self-righteous views they portray. Take heart from the fact that this issue is being dealt with at a higher level than armchair activism and that positive steps are being taken to study the feasibility of legal trade. It astounds me that we cannot get the concept through to people that if trade were legalised, rhinos would be worth more alive than dead, as opposed to the current trend. Not a single rhino would ever have to die again. Conservationists could benefit by being able to generate income from natural mortalities of rhino, communities could benefit and would not be inclined to poach, farmers could benefit and would never want to hunt any rhino, and most importantly, rhinos would thrive again. You may be a lone voice in here but know that you're not alone in your views.

      Fanie - 2012-02-22 17:45

      Same the world over - make it massively feasable to got legal, harvest rather than kill, and make the sentences for idiots who are caught being involved in the the trade as harsh as that being delt to rapists - a life long sentence in an RSA Jail + plus handing over all assets to the state for auction

  • kseyffert - 2012-02-15 00:10

    Catch the sods and shoot them. enough already!!!!

  • Marcell - 2012-02-15 04:48

    It can only carry on until they are all gone. Same as the theft and corruption. It can only carry on until the money is gone.

  • Max - 2012-02-15 04:49

    What amazes me the most about people's reaction to this sad state of affairs is the fact that they expected something differently when the fence in the Kruger Park was taken down.

      John - 2012-02-15 05:55

      @Max, I am still convinced that the transportation of these horns is done at Diplomatic level and someone is turning a blind eye to it. The Chinese are up to their eyeballs in this. Do you know how many landing strips there are just across the Trans Frontier Border. Just check with Google World and pan down the border and see for yourself, I personally counted 20, where light aircraft could land quite easily. After that the horns are transported out of the country under diplomatic immunity, not rocket science. Why in this era of scientific geniuses can't we develop a drug that can be injected into the horn which is non toxic to the rhino but deadly to humans. After a few horny dead Asians are found, how long do you think it will take for the word to get around that SA horns are bad for your health? That will kill the market for sure!

      Vicker - 2012-02-15 07:45

      Um, no John - that will only push up the price of horn even more...

  • Anthony - 2012-02-15 05:52

    WTF one a day, what is the price of a rhino horn?

      John - 2012-02-15 05:58

      @Anthony. The last time I checked, around $50-60K

      John - 2012-02-15 05:58

      Sorry Anthony per kg.

  • Ian - 2012-02-15 05:56


  • Mark Jacobs - 2012-02-15 06:11

    @John Your toxic drug idea is the best one ive heard so far! Let us just hope it doesnt increase the price of non-toxic horns!

      John - 2012-02-15 08:08

      Are you willing to take a chance, knowing the one you are about to consume could be the fatal one? I live in Asia, remember when the scare went out about the melamine tainted milk powder? You couldn't give milk powder away here, that's how suspicious these folks are. Besides the park authorities are darting these creatures all the time for conservation measures, what a great chance to taint the horns.

  • Ziggie - 2012-02-15 06:45

    Since the latest okes took over, every f..g thing is out of hand. Perhaps kop-in-een-mus with the criminals... My bet is that you will not see one rhino outside a zoo about 100years from now in any case, so, bad as it sounds, shoot the lot and stop the suffering they must endure when slaughtered half alive for their horns. And then soak/fill the horns with arsenic and sell it to the chinese and all the other f.ckrs using it for "potions".!!!!!

      Diep - 2012-02-15 10:27

      Ziggie, you are such a typical ignorant fool! Really? Are you really saying we should just shoot all the rhino now and get it over and done with??? So you are advocating the willful extinction of all rhino??? F##k dude, you are truely twisted!!

  • Joa Meyer - 2012-02-15 06:53

    I heard that it is still possible to get a licence and legally shoot rhinos in SA. Is this true?

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-15 07:17

      Yes it is. These licenses are very expensive (and therefore almost exclusively sold to foreign tourists who have the exchange rate on their side), and they come with a number of conditions. Possibly the most important of those conditions is the restriction on which type of rhino you can shoot - I forget which way around this is and I can't be bothered to look it up, but it's either the black or white rhino is much more endangered, and you're not allowed to shoot those. also, you cannot take the horn (or head, or any other body part) as a trophy, the carcass must remain in SA.

      Vicker - 2012-02-15 07:47

      For f*** sakes - the LEGAL hunting of rhino is not the problem dumb-a$$

      Sekalf - 2012-02-15 08:02

      @Vicker - it is the problem! As soon something is commercially practiced it becomes increasingly difficult to manage and draw the line between permitted and prohibited. The understanding of those who poach Rhinos do not have the required minimum of intelligence to understand this 'fine' line. I hope you understand now - do you?

      Ziggie - 2012-02-15 09:17

      Hi boet, who needs a license if you can just get a state vet or a game ranger to assist you??, much easier and cheaper.

      Diep - 2012-02-15 09:23

      @Jeffrey. You admit not knowing the correct facts about black and white rhino, then you make a statement as if you know everything. What ignorance and arrogance! The facts are these: it is possible to get a legal permit to hunt white rhino. It is not expensive, it costs R1000. The expensive part is paying the owner of the rhino to hunt the animal. You can export the head and horn as a hunting trophy on condition that you obtain a CITES permit, this is in fact the ONLY legal way of getting the horn out of SA. Black rhino are more endangered than white rhino but even so, CITES allows 5 black rhino bulls to be hunted each year in SA. But what exactly is your point? Do you have any constructive suggestions to make regarding rhino poaching? Please enlighten us.

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-16 10:45

      Diep, no point to make, just answering a question. Thanks for detailed facts about the legal rhino hunting (I did say I couldn't be bothered to look it up right then); but since your immediate response was to insult me, just f**k off.

  • anthro45 - 2012-02-15 07:02

    Prior to 1994, when there ware still borders and a functional army and police force, no rhynos were killed.

  • eben.ferreira1 - 2012-02-15 07:25

    And still licenses are issued for hunting them

      Vicker - 2012-02-15 07:50

      Ok - lets see if you are able to absorb some rational and logical thought here eben. 1 x LEGALLY hunted rhino = BIG BUCKS to the farm-owner, hunting outfitter, professional hunter, AND the local community. 1 x ILLEGALLY hunted rhino = ZILCH BUCKS to any of the above. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out which of the 2 rhinos will be more protected by all parties involved...

      Shaun Robinson - 2012-02-15 08:00

      @Eben - You DON'T get licences to hunt Rhino buddy... lol

      Sekalf - 2012-02-15 08:20

      Vicker - you don't get it! go and prostitute yourself for some cash at the expense of the wildlife heritage of this country. The benefit to those few (outfitter, hunter etc.) is certainly not outweighing the damage done. Legally or illegally hunted doesn't really matter - both ways the Rhino population decreases - got that ?(it is an easy calculation).

      Diep - 2012-02-15 09:29

      @Sekalf. You have clearly never heard of Dr Ian Player or his KZN rhino saving project wherein he brought the white rhino from the brink of extinction and where he gave credit to the hunting industry for their help and assitance in achieving such success. You do not understand the first thing about true conservation of a species, sustainable use or the benefit of giving a wild animal a commecrial value. All you offer is childish insults. How clever!

      Vicker - 2012-02-15 09:58

      @Sekalf: You are a typical bunny-hugger that cannot (or will not) grasp the real meaning of the word conservation. If it were up to you and your misguided enthusiasm, you would allow the extinction of the rhino, and then move on to the next "worthy" cause, as long as none get hunted legally. To put it in the plainest possible language - "IF IT PAYS, IT STAYS". Thank you Diep - Google Dr Ian Player and John Hume, Sekalf. And do not forget that game farm owners will NOT let all their rhino be hunted (legally) till there are none left - they are in it for the long haul. Poachers on the other hand are in it for the quick buck, so your last remark indicates a profound lack of insight into game farming in particular, and into sound business practises in general. The very fact that there are today so many game farms, holding millions of wild animals between them, is PURELY DUE TO THE ANIMALS HAVING A MONETARY VALUE. Can you say "RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE"??????

  • christian.helberg - 2012-02-15 07:48

    the government needs to stop pretending that saving the rhino is important, cause if it were. they would have stopped the slaughter already by implimenting much longer senstences or a constructed plan.

  • trix.duvenage - 2012-02-15 07:54

    The problem with Rhino killings and the way they are dealt with is legislation. It seems as if governments are not serious enough when it comes to this UTTERLY develish actions where one of the most endangered species in the world is threatened to be totally destroyed. Washing their hands in innocense seems to be the problem here. Weak statements like in this article "The parastatal's CEO David Mabunda said the high number of rhino killings was worrying, but that the 30 arrests made so far and the steeper sentences imposed on convicted criminals, were encouraging" is simply not enough. It is as if this David Mabunda is talking about Meerkats being run over by cars in the Kruger National park. There is no real message in his remarks about the killing of Rhinos. China execute all drug mules and send their ashes home as a memorial present. Still some of their citizens kill our Rhinos for sex boosting tablets. Why don't we rather kill the Chinese citizens and send their ashes back? What I am trying to say is we are not serious enough when it comes to Rhino killing---but then, South Africa is not NEARLY serious enough when it comes to ANY FORM of crime---- SWTF, it seems as if we are fighting a losing battle in any event. But Rhino killing will destroy the specie eventually and then it will be too late for tears. I dont think the Creator will make an exception and create a few more when the last one of these beautifull creatures are wiped out.

      Ziggie - 2012-02-15 09:22

      Hi trix, they cannot even run toll roads in Gauteng (various reasons), how the hell and why the hell will they worry about rhinos. Nothing for them to gain with rhinos, cannor accept bribes, cannot corrupt anyone, cannot arrange a piss=up in a brewery, cannot arrange a fart in peanut factory..........

  • SJ Kleynhans - 2012-02-15 08:19

    They must put poison in every single rhino horn! And show on international television that they are doing it. Espesially in the asian countries! They sure know how to give a @#*k about another countries endangered spesies. What are they going to use all the rhinos are gone?

      Ziggie - 2012-02-15 09:22

      No don't show on TV, let the bastards die, they will figure it out soon enough!!

      Diep - 2012-02-15 10:17

      @SJ Kleynhans. Did you not read the recent media reports about the rhino that died whilst being injected with poison into its horn? So much for that clever idea... Oh, and by the way, go read some law, if you intentionally cause harm to another human being by putting poison in a product you KNOW is going to be consumed, it kinda makes you guilty of a crime.

  • Barbara - 2012-02-15 08:35

    The poachers should be shot dead as soon as found and their carcasses strung up and left to rot... to set an example, that poaching does not pay..... they have no right to do this, it is not their stock... nor their right... those who purchase Rhino horn are equally as guilty and should face the same consequences... the cause needs to be dealt with... and the dealers are the cause...

  • Heather - 2012-02-15 08:53

    Using music, musicians and music lover's as a conduit, I'm hoping to raise local and international awareness to the massive rhino poaching problem in South Africa. Over 400 rhino's were "officially" reported poached in 2011, goodness knows how many went un-reported. One only has to Google "rhino poaching" in "Google Images" to see the horrific images of our butchered rhino's. To this end, I have designed and hand-made an all-African "get our rhino out of jail" acoustic guitar. The original design and construction is 100% South African. The body and neck construction is (unusually) all-mahogany, in this case African sapele mahogany. The hallmark of this type of guitar is a beautifully rich, but precise sound. This guitar is no different, it sounds gorgeous. I will have sound bytes and videos available soon. The concept is thus, I will take e-mail offers on this original guitar, the guitar will go to the highest* bidder and ALL the proceeds of the selling price will be donated to various "save the rhino" organisations. This information is being sent to musicians, music instrument dealers and magazines in South Africa and around the world. I'm asking editors and other media to please assist in getting the word out. The guitar will feature at a EWT concert later this week. Regards, Murray Kuun * this amount should be commensurate with typically hand-built boutique guitars.

  • Diep - 2012-02-15 09:14

    It is really sad and tragic to see that Vicker is the only person on this forum with any form on intelligence. All the emotinal rants and raves are not going to save the rhino. I am amazed to see how many people comment without having the faintest clue as to the actual facts about rhino, rhino hunting and rhino conservation. Please people, if you know nothing or very little, rather shut up.

  • maupila - 2012-02-15 09:22

    If a life of a rhino is put at danger because of money, then the government needs to make the law hard on this criminals, if you kill a Rhino you also deserve to die. OR we will not win this fight agains Rhino poaching, other countries are strict people get killed for selling drugs, what more can we do to protect the Rhino species if not to kill for them. One poacher one bullet

      Ziggie - 2012-02-15 09:29

      yep, bring back the death penalty, for murderders also

  • Mandy - 2012-02-15 10:01

    This is so tragic!! I know this might sound silly but why can't there be people guarding the rhinos. Sadly there are not a lot of them so wouldn't this be possible. I realise they're in the wild but surely there is some way that they can be protected? It seems like any resource possible should be used to protect them. Whomever is connected to whomever they should be strung up and tortured when found!! I don't wish ill on anyone but to murder these animals, they deserve the same torment back!

  • jonathan.dutoit2 - 2012-02-15 10:21

    Its a parastatal! The Kingpin behind all these poaches is probably a MP.

  • philatom - 2012-02-15 10:25

    "The parastatal's CEO David Mabunda said the high number of rhino killings was worrying". Worrying? Worrying??! The impending extinction in the wild of one of nature's most graceful creatures and he's 'worried'. In 15 years time when they're all gone we can tell our children that the people who were charged with the protection of these animals didn't worry enough to save them. I know it's a difficult, dangerous and expensive job to stop illegal poaching but SA needs to aspire to be the shining example to the world that it can be done.

  • Rodney - 2012-02-15 10:41

    “NGOs” and “Friends of the Rhino” in many instances under the guise of protecting the rhino are attracting huge sponsorships while offering no viable solution....are they as guilty as the rhino poachers themselves!!!

  • Rodney - 2012-02-15 10:48

    ) “Sustainable Utilisation” is the reason why the rhino in South Africa did so well while the rest of the rhino around the world went into rapid decline…..South Africa’s rhino started to be targeted in 2008 after a monotorium on hunting etc. with a fourfold increase in poaching as a result. Why put the profits in the pockets of the poachers and the Chines where they are planning to farm these animals like cattle when those same funds can promote the farmers in SA to breed them on their game farms. Currently there is no incentive for them to do this, and emotional funding is no long term solution when peoples live are being placed at risk (both the end user and the farmer) Controlled supply by flooding the market with the stock in hand will drop the price to a point that that it is no longer viable to poach but viable to ranch and therefore taking away the control funds from criminals and putting it back into the hands of Wild life management where it is desperately needed. Fighting criminal activity with further criminal activity is not realistic and promotes the kind of gang warfare with the only real losers being the rhino

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