Rhino killings already surpass 2011 total

2012-10-30 21:27

Johannesburg - More rhino have been killed in the last 10 months than in the whole of 2011, the environmental affairs department said on Tuesday.

A total of 488 rhino had been killed at the end of October 2012, the department said in a statement.

In 2011 448 rhino were poached.

The Kruger National Park remained the hardest-hit area, with 296 rhino killed there this year.

This was 44 animals more than in 2011.

Poachers continued to target Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West, with 158 rhino lost in the three provinces this year.

The department said it was making progress in nabbing people linked to poaching, with around 214 arrested this year alone.

Most of those arrested were suspected poachers. Ten people were arrested for receiving poached goods, and 18 for transporting poached items.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-10-30 22:37

    WHEN will this 'slaughtering' END.. My heart bleeds for our Rhino! Like everything.. Incompetent policing, organised crime and too many pockets lined!

  • tolo.maano - 2012-10-31 00:24

    I think is a time 4 south African citizen to help da police to catch those illegal poached or to log them this is to much...or should organize the campaign dat says HANDS OFF OUR RHINO...pls gud people Hands off OUR RHINO...

  • Alice - 2012-10-31 00:46

    This is heartbreaking!

  • theo.ferreira.58 - 2012-10-31 02:01

    SA needs a Diane Fossey armed with a machine gun and a sniper rifle and a rusty pair of pliers to dehorn the culled poachers. Alas, while there is a market there will be a poor desperate and immoral poacher willing to supply. Erm... Zuma, how about you ask China to help you sort out the buyers on their end? Itll help resolve our anger issues to see you act on this.

  • andrew.gibbs.1420 - 2012-10-31 05:36

    Half of this problem is caused by emotional BUNNY HUGGERS. They are the chief barrier to legalising the trade in Rhino horn. They are a significant component in keeping the price of horn high and they are the poachers best friend. Just because they themselves are easily swayed by public opinion does not mean they will easily be able to sway the opinions of over a billion Chinese. Even if there was no poaching the Rhino would still be much better off with trade because more resources would be allocated to the keeping of Rhino and there would be more Rhino. Its not only the Rhino in South Africa that are affected by their thoughtlessness but also those Rhino in much more vunerable areas.

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-31 05:55

      Hi Andy I disagree. I think legalisation will stimulate a market that can never be satisfied. We need to tell all of the stupid orientals that Rhino horn does nothing for you own horn. We need to exterminate poachers. We need to kick all of the oriental kingpins out of SA so that there is no supply link back to the far East. Best of all give Viagra away for free so that nobody is even tempted to use Rhino horn.

      andrew.gibbs.1420 - 2012-10-31 06:23

      Hi Mr Yar Well no fine. I disagree. A lot more Rhino horn can be supplied then is currently been supplied. Maybe even more then 10,000 times the current production. Its a well known law of economics that when you increase supply you tend to reduce price. Which will reduce the incentive to poach. In addition supplying foreing exchange and jobs. It will make no difference to tell the Chineses that Rhino horn does nothing for their horns nor will giving them Viagra help. Its used as an effervecent which I think reduces body temperature. Reducing the ability to poach by exterminating poachers just increasese the price of the horn which increases the incentive to poach. You can't win thinking like that. Nor can the Rhino. What will you do when the price of Rhino horn gets to R1 million per kg. The secret is to reduce the price of rhino horn, not to increase it.

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-31 07:43

      Hi Andy I don't believe that it is possible to meet the supply. 10,000 times the current supply. No chance. Take your kids to see a Rhino while you still can. I think we have already lost the battle. PS "Effevescent" which you "think" reduces body temperature. Give me a break, you are not even certain of your facts.

      markplstephens - 2012-10-31 08:31

      dude dont be silly. Im doing away with the polite Good day sir because this is a discussion not a formal letter. an effervescent is a fizzy tablet like barocca or corenza C. Ok Im sorry for calling you silly, that was rude and has no place in a discussion. I should rather say; I hear you point, but may I interject. I get your point, I also agree that hunting is the best form of conservation and that if youre allowed to shoot a lion for sport, surely you can breed rhinos to grow your winky. I think however that it comes down to economics like you say. Remember its not every oriental that uses this drug but rather the seriously desperate few who are willing to buy on the black market. I seriously doubt horn trade is legal in China. by starting a legal trade here, you have to do the same over there. then come the advertising campaigns promoting the growth of your little fella (falsely) and soon every asian man with a hint of insecurity will be after it. the demand then grows faster than the new legal supply and prices go up. those who cant afford to get it legally turn again to the black market and youre left with a Sherbet load of dead rhinos and still no satisfied customers. now permits are available and officials can be bought to hide the illegal product. do you see the slippery slope? Just look at the exorbitant price of medical marijuana in this country and others.

      andrew.gibbs.1420 - 2012-10-31 11:22

      Mr Yar Wellnofine. I think it is possible to increase production 10,000 times. Not. necessarily practical but possible. A 2000 kg Rhino (3AU's) eats 30 kg drymatter per day (11 tons per annum). This can be supplied by 1 hectare of good land. If it takes 2 years to grow a sellable horn and current sales is 600 horns per annum then to match current demand needs 12 square kms of good land. 10,000 times 12 square km's is 120,000 square km's. About 1 10th of South Africa. Once again I'm not saying this is practical but if the price of Rhino horn is not inversely linked to supply as many delusional people are claiming then it would become very practical and profitable. At current poaching rates (assuming 550 per annum) and a South African White Rhino population of 22000. (I have seen that claimed). Then there is only a 1 in 40 chance of a Rhino been poached every year. The population should easily be able to breed faster then that. What is concerning is the challenge put on the people who supply resources to Rhino. i.e. the owners. They have higher security and risk costs. This reduces the justification of keeping rhino which results in fewer rhino. If the poaching intensity increases without a compensating increase in income then Rhino owners won't find profit in keeping Rhino and will subsequently cease to own Rhino.Then who will pay for the guards. I see I did make an error on the meaning of effervescent. But are you sure that Rhino horn is used as an afrodisiac.

      andrew.gibbs.1420 - 2012-10-31 11:47

      Mr markplstephens. I have made an error on the meaning of effervesent. I though it meant the fizzy part as well as well as reducing fever. The word I needed was antipyrethic. You don't have to open a legal trade over in China. That the Chinese job. All we have to do is open the legal trade here. Then the incentive to poach will reduce and the incentive to own Rhino will increase. Your explanation of supply and demand does not add up. Increased demand will be matched by increased supply and better guards. Rhino horn is not used as an afrodiasic. Its used to calm fever. Only ignorant people claim otherwise. Where the trade in mariyana is more open then the price is cheaper. If you don't believe me just go to a low cost housing area. Ps if you were sorry to call me silly why did you not just delete the offending script. I can't accept your apologie because it is a lie.

  • michael.fegbeutel - 2012-10-31 08:42

    This is disgusting! A total of 214 arrests have been made, but how many of these arrests will get bail,in order to terrorise or Rhinos even more, or escape again from the Police. Or how many of these cases will get thrown out of court due to lack of evidence?

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-31 10:26

    We can all see this should be dealt with harshly, but yet our brainless fat lazy ANC government still have not done anything to stop this rhino killing. MR PRESIDENT!! WE HAVE A ARMY THAT IS GETTING PAID LOAFING AROUND. SEND THEM IN TO HUNT THESE POACHERS!!! PUT YOUR 21 PIECE BUCKET OF KFC DOWN AND DEAL WITH THIS.

      Sam - 2012-11-04 20:05

      You are right - unless we have government backing and it's only the people trying to fight the fight, it will be a losing battle.

  • hein.crous.7 - 2012-10-31 11:37

    As long as the money is good and poverty exist this will happen .Harvest all the Rhino Horns in Sa and Open the the BAnk where the Horns are held and sell them use the money to help save the Rhino with technology.

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