Trust to save rhinos gets a R1m boost

At least R1 million will be invested in the development of databases that will help police track down rhino poachers.

“The investment will go towards establishing a non-profit organisation called the Wildlife Industry Trust, which will house a series of databases for different wildlife species.

“The trust will be administered by the South African Veterinary Foundation,” SA Breweries spokeswoman Robyn Chalmers said today.

Chalmers quoted the SA Veterinary Foundation as saying: “While different provinces and government departments do currently collect data on wildlife, this information is not integrated and is thus fragmented.

“The establishment of a database containing all relevant information on wildlife in South Africa, including details of the identity of the animals, their ownership and the properties where they occur, would be a vital tool for the management of the animals.”

Police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo said the database system had assisted the police “significantly” in their determination to stop poaching.

“The database cuts investigation time down tremendously and is a great support to the SAPS.”

The database, which currently holds more than 500 individual identities of rhinos, is based on the Combined DNA Index System used by the FBI to match a suspect’s DNA to a crime scene.

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