#ShockWildlifeTruths: Eastern Cape game farm's 2nd rhino attack in two years

Michael Lorent

Cape Town - Rhino poaching remains a major issue of concern for South Africa, with patterns seemingly moving away from the Kruger stronghold to other provinces across the country.

Police are investigating a recent poaching incident, which took place at Lombardini Game Farm on Tuesday, 09 August. 

According to the farm - located in the Jeffreys Bay area - poachers killed and dehorned two rhinos while a third one was left wounded.

Game farm owner, Susan Lottering confirmed to Traveller24 that two rhinos were shot to death and dehorned, and the third is receiving treatment.

"At this point, we don't know how the poachers might have gained access to the premises but investigations are underway," says Lottering.

Lottering says this is not the first time it has happened, as the first incident took place in 2015. 

"Before upgrading our system, poachers killed a rhino and a number of our cows," she says. 

With police continuing their investigations with hopes to bring the poachers to justice, Lottering says the farm is grateful for the support it has received and still open for business. 

ALSO SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: SA kids speak out on rhino horn trade

Rhino poaching crisis highlighted

Rhino poaching in South Africa is a major concern as poachers believe that the horns have high-value medicinal properties and such tragic and reckless poaching incidents highlight how intense and fearless the criminal industry has become.

Recently conservationist and enthusiasts raised major concerns about an online rhino horn auction that is set to take place between 21 and 24 August this year, putting South Africa's domestic rhino horn trade parameters as set by CITES to the test, with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) stating that it does not allow rhino horn to be traded internationally.

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Rhino horn online auction pros and cons, readers respond

In July, the  DEA released an update on the status of rhino poaching in SA for the last two-quarters, with data showing a slight decrease in poaching nationally. 

The update showed a total of 529 rhino poached since January 2017 in South Africa alone.

SEE: SA sees 'slight decrease' in rhino poaching in 2017

In June, Natal Lion Park announced devastating shock following the death of its beloved Maxine the rhino. Maxine was shot in the head while she was sleeping by poachers, who then stole the animal's horn. 

SEE: #ShockingWildlifeTruth: Natal Lion Park devastated after poachers kill Maxine the rhino

In May, poachers have attacked Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in KwaZulu-Natal, which has subsequently decided to close down after a heavily armed gang hit the orphanage on the night of 21 February. 

SEE: Elephant Whisperer's rhino orphanage closure a blow for anti-poaching in SA

SA’s special investigative police unit arrested poaching suspects at OR Tambo International Airport trying to smuggle rhino horns out of the country - with the latest being the two alleged smugglers arrested on Monday, 12 June and 10 rhino horn, valued at R2.8 million, recovered.

SEE: Minister of Environmental Affairs welcomes arrest of rhino horn traffickers

While government says it is doing all it can to reduce the number on poaching and increase arrests, conservationists have also alleged that there is massive corruption within the court system, resulting in the release of several suspects or the engineering of ongoing delays in trials that go nowhere - and poachers clearly becoming more brazen in their attack. 

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