In a landmark move, a top-secret mission has been accomplished by game reserves in the Hoedspruit region. After an almost unanimous decision, all rhinos in our area around Hoedspruit have been dehorned to minimise rhino poaching. The action was kept under wraps so that poaching was not increased before the task could be completed.
This is a temporary measure to ensure the safety of our rhinos while other actions are being put into place in the region. A rhino action group has been formed and funds are being raised to increase the protection of this species. In Hoedspruit we are lucky to have the support of our local air force base who assist with air surveillance, and Protrack which is a private anti-poaching unit operating in all the private game reserves. Our local police department are also very active in anti-poaching and see this as a priority. Plans have also been put into place where each and every rhino in the area will have its own armed bodyguard keeping it under surveillance.
This last week two rhino poachers were shot and killed in the Kruger National Park. Lets hope that poachers will start getting the message and all this unnecessary killing and destruction can finally come to an end.
Personally, I am glad to see something being done to end poaching. There has been a lot of hype, fund-raising and media attention – all of which is necessary, but it’s now time to see some action. Well done Hoedspruit and the Rhino Action Group!
Rhino dehorning is a controversial topic, and many say that it is not the answer. I agree – it’s not the final answer to our problems, but until such time, it will assist in slowing down poaching and protect the species from total annihilation. For those of you who do not know, rhino horns are made of hair and do regrow at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per year.
Another “good news” rhino story can be read here on the Notes from Africa blog.
- Rhino anti-poaching fight brings deadly response (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- War against Rhino killers in South Africa (jbaynews.com)
- Rhino Poaching in South Africa Reaches All-Time High (prweb.com)