World Rhino Day – 22 September 2016

Our first rhino sighting in the Kruger National Park. August 2016

Our first rhino sighting in the Kruger National Park. August 2016

Rhino poaching is one of the things that really upsets me. Well, poaching of any kind, but especially killing an animal for just one body part. Even though there has been raised awareness about the issue, and enormous efforts from various conservation agencies to stop the slaughter of rhinos, the carnage continues.

Authorities in South Africa recently announced that there has been a reduction in Rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park by some 18%. Which sounds great until you read further and see what this really means. In the Kruger National Park alone, 458 carcasses of poached rhinos were found between March and August 2016.  458 rhinos in a six month period.

Nationally there has also been a slight decline in poaching numbers – 702 rhino have been poached between January and July 2016 compared to a total of 796 rhino poached during the same period in 2015. However, Julian Rademeyer, the author of a book “Killing for Profit: Exposing Illegal Rhino Horn Trade” has pointed out that there has a been dramatic spike in poaching in neighbouring countries.

In neighbouring countries, Namibia being one Zimbabwe being the other, there have been dramatic spikes in poaching. In 2015 for instance Zimbabwe lost 51 rhinos, Namibia have recently updated their figures Namibia lost 125 rhinos, so I don’t think you can look at it in isolation. Certainly there have been successes in Kruger National Park, but the picture remains very dire at this stage. – Julian Rademeyer

We visited the Kruger National Park in August this year. Days before we arrived there, the sickening news came that a regional ranger and a veterinarian technician, had been arrested in the Kruger National Park for alleged rhino poaching related offences. The ranger is described as an award-winning ranger with 15 years experience on the frontline fighting poaching. [You can read the article here – South African ranger arrested for allegedly killing white rhino.].

How does one “win” when people whose job it is to protect rhinos are involved in rhino poaching?

 

[For years rhinos have been relentlessly hunted and killed for their horns. World Rhino Day(celebrated on September 22 every year) provides an opportunity for all the organizations involved in rhino conservation, as well as members of the public, to celebrate these unique and special animals. It includes all five species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos.  [Visit the World Rhino Day site for more information.]

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Categories: Nature/Environment, Random

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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4 Comments on “World Rhino Day – 22 September 2016”

  1. September 22, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    Rhino and elephant poaching makes my blood boil too, Lisa. I cannot, cannot, cannot understand why people would want to kill these magnificent animals… for their horns and tusks! It is so unbelievably pointless.

    And when rangers and the people tasked with protecting them are actually found to be participating in this horrendous practice, it is profoundly sickening. Spending the rest of their lives in prison – which ain’t gonna happen anyway for a whole host of unfathomable reasons – is just too lenient a punishment for contributing to the deliberate, conscious, planned extinction of an entire species. It makes one despair for the future of humankind.

    • September 23, 2016 at 7:05 am #

      Agree completely. I feel I want to help raise awareness about the rhino poaching issue, but find it so sad and depressing.

  2. September 22, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Thank you for continuing to shed light on this important issue, Lisa. It’s easy to put it out of our minds, but we must keep talking about the needless slaughter of these magnificent creatures.
    Do you know if there are awareness efforts going toward the misguided people who are buying these horns as aphrodisiacs or trophies? If we can eliminate the market for the horns, maybe people will stop poaching.

    • September 23, 2016 at 7:12 am #

      Hi Jackie! 🙂 You’re right – the elimination of the market for rhino horn is probably the only think which will stop the poaching. I’m going to do a follow up on this post regarding that, and other measures being taken to save the species.

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