Reserve offering rhino hunting packages comes under fire

A petition is being circulated against a private game reserve in Limpopo that is offering packages to hunt rhino instead of saving them.

The petition by Paul Kruger Safaris against the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which is offering rhino hunting packages, was supported by various other nature conservationists, the Saturday Star reported.

“Everyone is fighting for the rhino but Timbavati is allowing them to be hunted,” said nature conservationist Pieter Odendaal.

He said Timbavati and the Kruger National Park had agreed that no fences would be erected between the parks to allow animals to roam freely.

“These rhinos set to be shot may well be rhinos that belong to the Kruger Park and who, by chance, are in the way of the hunters,” said Odendaal.

Timbavati reportedly said photographic tourism operations were far more damaging than sustainable, well managed hunting operations.

“Only male white rhino above a certain age or horn size are hunted, according to a strict protocol,” said chairman Thomas Hancock.

The Kruger National Park said the rhino hunting packages were unethical.

“They tell us that the rhino bulls are old and ask if they are expected to simply let them die under a tree. I say yes, let nature take its cause,” said spokesman Ike Phaahla.

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