Another rhinoceros has been killed for its horn. This happened on a game farm here in Hoedspruit. She was pregnant.
Here is a news article on the incident:
Two innocent lives lost because of myths and greed.
The year’s third confirmed killing of a rhino in South Africa has turned out to be a double tragedy, as the rhino was pregnant. The horrifying discovery was made at a game farm in the Hoedspruit area of Limpopo Province.
She had been shot with a high-caliber hunting rifle.
In 2010, at least 310 rhinos were brutally slaughtered in South Africa to fuel a demanding market for illegal rhino horn in China and Vietnam. Continue reading…… (news article from http://www.rhinoconservation.org)
Even after cracking open a syndicate of rhino poachers locally, the slaughter continues. Many different approaches are being used to try to prevent rhino poaching including horn microchipping, and dehorning, although dehorning is really only possible when the animal is not under threat from its natural enemies. Some local pilots volunteer their time to patrol areas by air and there are also local anti-poaching units that patrol on foot. As an extreme measure a few anonymous game farmers have taken the law into their own hands and are poisoning the horns of their rhinos – the poison does not affect the rhino but will kill whoever eats the ground rhino horn powder. It is believed that there are people within the conservation field who are cashing in on the sale of the horns.
This is a white rhino we spotted this weekend on a game drive at Matumi Lodge.
A place on Appendix I of CITES has done little to help the rhino. It has simply driven a thriving trade in rhino horn underground, and the African continental population has crashed from 65,000 in the late 1960s to less than 3,500 today. Between 1970 and 1987, 85 per cent of the world’s rhinoceros population was killed. The cause: demand for rhino products in traditional Eastern medicine and demand for knife handles (made from the horn) used to make “coming-of-age” daggers for young Yemeni males. There are five species of rhinoceros alive today. Three live in Asia, and two in Africa. All are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and considered endangered. This listing, and a 1987 regulation, prohibits international and domestic trade in rhino products by CITES Parties. Although the ban has been in force since 1976, the trade continues, particularly in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
At 1991 prices, the cost per kilogram of rhino horn averaged at US$10,000. The average value of each horn is about US$80,000
- S. Africa rhino deaths hit record level in 2010 (calgaryherald.com)
- ‘Rhino poachers’ shot in S Africa (bbc.co.uk)
- South Africa wages war on ruthless rhinoceros poachers (guardian.co.uk)
- Rhino Poaching in South Africa Increases 172% in 2010 (treehugger.com)
- 4×4 course to aid rhino conservation (sanparks.org)
- Rhino horns fitted with GPS trackers (cnn.com)
- You: Mayhem for the stump of a horn (latimes.com)