Namibian minister warns poachers

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Windhoek - In the wake of a surge in rhino and elephant poaching incidents in Namibia last year, the environment minister is putting out a daily message on national television that poachers will be jailed.

"The demand for rhino horns and elephant tusks does not come from within Namibia or Africa, it comes from further afield. Locals get paid peanuts for killing our rhinos and elephants," environment and tourism minister Uahekua Herunga says in the broadcast.

"If we find you [poaching], we warn you that you will be put in jail," Herunga states in the message, which was shown after the prime time evening news on public broadcaster the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.

The message will be broadcast every day for the upcoming weeks.

"Poaching of our rhino and elephants destroys our economy. Tourism is important for Namibia," the minister says in the clip.

On Thursday a photo of a black rhino in Namibia's world-famous Etosha National Park with two wounds on its forehead, likely bullet wounds, circulated on social media, posted by concerned environmental discussion groups.

Last year 24 rhinos and 79 elephants were poached in Namibia.

A private conservation trust in Namibia wants to raise funds to acquire flight drones to battle rhino poaching in remote areas.

The Next Generation Conservation Trust wants to assemble 14 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones adapted to Namibia's conditions, when the fundraising is successful.

Each UAV will have a 6m wingspan and will cover 20 000km.

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