Pregnant rhino killed in 2nd attack

2012-02-14 14:16

Cape Town - A 4-year-old rhino bull has been left traumatised after its mother and sister were killed by poachers in Limpopo earlier this month.

The cow, which was due to give birth this week, survived a shooting attack two years ago, Ian Otto, the manager of Thiergarten farm near Tzaneen in Limpopo, told News24 on Tuesday.

A case has been opened at Letsitele police station, after the shooting on February 9.

Otto said: “We noticed that the animals had not been dead for more than an hour so we took off after them [the poachers]. With help from two helicopters and a group of local farmers, they [the poachers] still managed to slip away.

“When we got back to the crime scene, we found that they first shot the 2-year-old calf and when she went down, the mother stood over her, [the poachers shot] the mother as well,” Otto said.


This same rhino cow’s mother was shot dead by poachers in 2010. The 4-year-old bull is the only surviving member of the entire family.

Otto said that the rhino bull, which has not been wounded, had been so traumatised by the loss of his mother and sister that his behaviour is completely abnormal.

“We’ve got a big ranch and he just walks from boundary to boundary. You hear him squealing and grunting.

“He approaches the other rhino and puts his face into them, turns around and walks away and just constantly calls [to them].

“You can see from his behaviour that he’s not himself, that it’s just not normal what he’s doing.”

The traumatised behaviour of the bull mirrored that of another calf whose mother had been shot in December. The calf had apparently lain down next to its mother’s carcass “for a couple of days before lions chased it away”.

Some good news

Otto said that calf eventually found another rhino with which it bonded. If they don’t, “they stress themselves to death”.

He said based on the information he had received about the last shootings, the poachers were professional hunters.

Otto said he was pleased with the reward system offered by Limpopo police for information on poachers, saying that this might encourage people to help stop poaching as opposed to helping poachers.

In 2011, 448 rhino were poached. Fifty-four rhino have already been poached in 2012 in South Africa - just 45 days into the year.

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  • Marion - 2012-02-14 14:23

    R500 000 reward being offered in Limpopo for information leading to the arrest (and I presume successful prosecution) of rhino poachers. If you can help stop the carnage please do so. You may even be R500 000 richer afterwards.

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-14 16:03

      I think its about time we invited bounty hunters from all over the world to come here and hunt down these cowards for a reward and a bit of fun. Its about time, the poacher became the poached. Wanted dead or alive - preferably dead!

      Gerhard - 2012-02-14 16:10

      Because Alicia, our government is too scared to stand up and tell China it's about time they told their people that rhino horn does not give you a huge pecker. But we would not want to do anything to offend our Chinese masters.

      Wes - 2012-02-14 16:18

      Hey rbczetc I wish i could give you thousands of thumbs up

      Piet - 2012-02-14 18:10

      Lets mobilize and give info to Crime Stop 08600 10111. This has to stop

  • looneylani - 2012-02-14 14:30

    AAARG!! DAMNIT!! Wish this crap would stop!!

  • Mike - 2012-02-14 14:32

    Get the army in and shoot those bastards! For crying out loud - why can the rest of Africa protect their game and in South Africa they get butchered by the minute - enough is enough!

      Karl - 2012-02-14 14:38

      Um, South Africa is one of the last remaining countries with Rhino. All the rest in Africa have been wiped out. And SANDF are already doing patrols in the Kruger ;)

      Mike - 2012-02-14 14:49

      Karl - not quite - Black Rhino's are found in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya, as well as Cameroon. White Rhino in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda. There you have poaching - but when caught you get punished - what happens here? A slap on the wrist with a map to the next game reserve....

      John - 2012-02-14 15:24

      Mike...I feel like we need to increase the population of lions. That might resolve the issue in "mother nature way"

      Lehlohonolo - 2012-02-14 15:30

      the rest of africa is not a member of BRICS, we opened gates for chinese to bully us

      Mike - 2012-02-14 15:32

      Agreed John - but it does not help if they fly into the reserves by helicopter. I strongly believe that with firm commitment from government and law enforcement this problem would be solved. I recall an exercise by the Botswana Defense Force at the Northern Border - they flew with helicopters into the reserve and hunted the poachers - they found 15 - shot 14 on the spot and sent the one survivor back across the border - their law - simple do not get caught inside a game reserve when you should not be there.... do they have a massive poaching problem today...?

      Donald - 2012-02-14 15:33

      yes Mike, so without making accusations, one cannot help but wonder why the government is not REALLY making any effort at all, except by sending in the Army.... (what army? lol) ok so a handful of troops. One wonders if their lack of enthusiasm in stopping this is deliberate, and i would imagine that turning a proverbial blind eye could be quite lucrative to some cANCer officials.... just saying....

  • Snoopsy - 2012-02-14 14:39

    Just a question? The rangers can see that they are not getting help from Government, Why not rather de-horn the rhino to try and save their lives?? No Horns = No poaching.

      Hallo - 2012-02-14 14:46

      The army is assisting you ingrate.

      Gerhard - 2012-02-14 15:09

      You can try dehorn but then you could have the incident like we had the other day, where a rhino died under anaesthetic or the poachers just shoot them anyway because they don't have a horn and they would not want to track this animal again.

      John - 2012-02-14 15:15

      How exactly trooper Hallo? We know that Army gets mobilised for supporting wild life rescue operations, but we talking for something else here. Army cannot be deployed in all wild life sanctuaries across the country.

      Piet - 2012-02-14 18:13

      Not that simple, they still kill the Rhinos for the remaining 5cm. De-horn the poachers, drive them scared sheitless. Get the trackers, hunt them down and put them in the ground.

  • Omrisho - 2012-02-14 14:46

    can we not just start shooting these mofo poachers already... snoopsy... i have heard of them using a dye to colour the horn tissue bright pink, also rendering it useless to the ornament and medicine industries

  • Shirley - 2012-02-14 14:46

    Come on government!!!!! Take some of the luxury car,johnnie blue,party money and SAVE our rhino!!! This is not good enough! PLEEEEASE step up and do what it takes to save these creatures! STOP THE SLAUGHTER!!!

      Sue - 2012-02-15 21:59

      There's a monetary reward - they probably will start doing something sooner rather than later!!

  • Tevashnee - 2012-02-14 14:48

    FFS when is this sh*t going to end?!?!

      Brad Gordon - 2012-02-14 22:17

      When the bastards have killed every single rhino....and at this rate it could be this year!

  • neville.kehl - 2012-02-14 14:51


  • shannon.trouncell - 2012-02-14 14:53

    ....i say cut off the nose of the 1st poacher that gets caught..........

      carmen.macrae - 2012-02-14 15:05

      I say cut off more than just their nose! And do it slowly with a blunt knife!!

      Chloe - 2012-02-14 15:13

      Not only his nose but his horn tooo !!!!!

  • Su - 2012-02-14 14:56

    If someone in government loved animals they could save our rhinos. The rest of africa has allowed their rhinos to be poached into extinction without a blink, so why should our little country at the tip of africa be any different?

  • Lucky Manaswe - 2012-02-14 15:01

    This is just too much, 47 rhinos in 45 days? The government should really surprise us and do something to save those animals. Catch one bastard and make example out of him.

      Carol - 2012-02-19 08:35

      sorry to say, but your stats are wrong. its now 65 rhino poached in 48 days.

  • Natasha - 2012-02-14 15:02

    This is SO SO SAD...!!!!!

  • Ant - 2012-02-14 15:05

    savage bastards!

  • Marion - 2012-02-14 15:22

    As I see it removing the rhino's horn leaves it defenceless (if three tons of anger can be considered defenceless) and dyeing the horn will make the rhino stand out in the bush where it would normally be camouflaged. Poisoning the horn could also possibly backfire and kill the rhino. So I say, life penalty for poaching endangered species. What good is that R1 million to anybody if they can't touch it for 25 years...

  • Zee - 2012-02-14 15:35

    I am so upset, I actually feel sick!!!! F#$#$#$ humans are destroying our planet and all its beautiful creatures.. All about greed.

  • Lizelle - 2012-02-14 15:49

    actually cant read any more of this.. its heart breaking!

  • Olivia - 2012-02-14 15:49

    They are merciless!!! when will this stop??!!! they are wiping the entire rhino population out!! This is really hurting because I so love these animals. How on earth are they getting away for so long??!! STOP IT!!!!!!

  • Roz - 2012-02-14 15:56

    We are watching the slow extinction of the rhino and nobody is doing anything to stop it. Do you really want to say that the rhino became extinct in your lifetime?

  • lynton.s.steyn - 2012-02-14 15:58

    This saddens me dearly. I sincerely hope that the full measure of the law is enforced on this savages. If it were up to me I would willingly leave them in a cage locked up with the species they are annihilating.

  • Jacob - 2012-02-14 16:53

    The Chinese are going to single handedly destroy Africa's wildlife until there is nothing left in the wild because of their pathetic beliefs!

  • Jan - 2012-02-14 17:20

    Shoot to kill

      Shirley - 2012-02-14 17:36

      AS fast as possible!

  • Pats - 2012-02-14 17:51

    54 Rhinos to date on this the 45th Day of 2012, Madikwe Hard Hit with 4 This Week. Limpopo 2 last week and so it Goes on and on No real Stats being kept up to date. So for Sure someone some where is on the Take..if Only One could find the King Pin An Interesting Fact that when The Chinese Prime Minster was at KNP 5 Went Down (Rhinos) That is Now I truly Wonder...We all seem to care Our Politicians are all Keeping Dead Quite Not One of Our Political Parties has stuck Their necks out With Regard to Rhino... Where too from Here..

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-02-14 19:26

    Perhaps reward money [R500 000] would be better spent on ramping up the security or fencing to keep the poachers out and the animals safer?

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-19 03:33

      It costs a lot more than that. We have all those measures in place in the EC. The ex-pearlies and their connections are now poachers. Gatvol. Shoot on sight.

  • inwardk - 2012-02-14 19:39

    I am starting to wonder whether there isn't someone really high up who is getting paid for rhino horns - how come the police just don't seem to get on top of this problem? Isn't it a bit strange?

  • Hazel - 2012-02-14 22:32

    So very very sad. What can we say about mankind when instead of protecting these beautiful animals we kill them, all for greed. They do not stand a chance against these poachers and then the surviving babies suffer so much trauma. My heart is truly broken but the anger and hatred I feel for these poachers is becoming overwhelming. I say hunt them, wound them and then shoot them all through the nose while they lay bleeding on the ground! Let the lions and vultures then have the bodies. This HAS to stop!!!!!

  • maureen.bryden - 2012-02-14 22:45

    Ag NO man! FFS!

  • Jacqueline - 2012-02-15 07:29

    This is ridiculous, how can 54 Rhino be dead from poaching in only 45 days of the new year??? What is being done about this, why is money and surveillance not being spent to prevent these monsters from killing these precious creatures. They will become extinct very soon, if this carries on. Poachers need to be shot on site, ALL of them. I am from South Africa living in Spain now, and to read this is appalling, it needs to be stopped before it is TOO LATE. I wish I could do something about this.

  • edandchris - 2012-02-15 08:40

    As long as the fat cats can get their fat salaries for doing nothing this will continue until they are all killed..Do they give a damn/ NO !!!!

  • donovan.botha - 2012-02-15 10:21

    Shoot to kill anyone that is ilegal in our game parks those with permission need a signaling device that will alert trackers and game wardens to say you are there legaly if you do not have one you die just like the rino die.

  • esme.collins1 - 2012-02-15 20:40

    What a horror story caught in pictures!! Catch these dispicable people one at a time, from the poacher through all the ranks to the distributors of the "medicine" that purportedly enhancers sexual performance, mutilate their genitalia so that the penis will never perform again!! That is what they deserve. rbczovczov I could not agree more with your sentiments. I could become the first bounty hunter...and I would do it for no pay!!

  • Elisabeth - 2012-02-16 07:22

    Its time that the poachers were stopped with both hefty fines and long 20 year goal terms with no early releases. I can't understand how they can be so cruel. The rhino horn is made from hair impacted and is of NO USE MEDICINALLY!! Its time the rhinos are protected 24 hours a day and these abominable monsters are stopped.

  • Virginia - 2012-02-16 10:03


  • louis.b.ebersohn - 2012-02-19 02:37

    Stop playing the emotional game. Humans are pregnant not animals. The longer you confuse or cloud the subject or issue with emotional jargon the longer it will take to solve the problem.

  • Gail - 2012-02-23 11:54

    I just abhor want is happening to these poor rhino's. A pregnant one that. Have people have no shame. Justice must be done to punish these people severely.

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