Hoedspruit takes action against rhino poaching

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.


20 thoughts on “Hoedspruit takes action against rhino poaching

  1. For each horn you saw off, please make sure you have a poachers nose to accompany it? But yes, although NOT the answer, if it helps save your rhinos then great. The rhino needs their horns, especially moms to ward off predators wanting to attack their calves so hopefully soon there will be the right answer, God willing.


  2. My question is – what did you do with the horns that were removed?? Hopefully they were destroyed! You also need to advertise the fact that your rhino are hornless as poachers will kill them anyway if they have stalked them and then get frustrated when they discover the rhino has no horn!


    • Hi Michelle – each reserve will be putting signs along their fences regarding the rhinos in multiple languages and the news is being spread. I am not sure what has been done with the horns – I will try to find out. I myself was not involved as we do not have rhino on our reserve, and am just reporting what has happened in the area. I also hope the horns get destroyed.


  3. At least this is a could be a start of dehorning the rhinos to maybe catch the poachers off guard trying to kill the rhinos and at the end save the animals. We pray for a solution, for all man kind, for peace and appreciate what God has created and not to destroy it!


  4. I wondered when it might come to this – hasn’t de-horning been done with other groups of Rhinos to discourage poaching? Good to hear that two poachers were taken out by law enforcement. You can only hope that the price paid by poacher finally outweighs the price someone in China is willing to pay for a horn. Beautiful animals slaughtered by greed and ignorance.


  5. Just got news in that a dehorned rhino was poached in Malalane (article dated 16 September)…the article is headed “No mercy for dehorned rhino”. Afraid they will still poach the rhino and cut out its “plate” for every bit of horn that is left 😦


    • Yes – it’s not going to stop them totally, however if they can get 10kg’s somewhere else why go to all the trouble for 1kg. They even broke into a museum in Amsterdam (I think) to hack off a stuffed rhinos horn . I don’t believe any one tactic will be 100% fool proof but at least we are doing something – and not just standing around talking about it.
      Also, as I said this is only a temporary measure until more plans are put into place.


  6. This is great news – albeit drastic. I’m happily surprised to hear that everyone kept the programme a secret until the mission was completed. What with “certain” vets and “some” farmers and other “alleged” professionals in the animal industry being easily corrupted into the poaching business – it’s good to know that there are true animal lovers out there, willing to make the decisions and take the drastic measures to protect Africa’s animal heritage 🙂


  7. Pingback: Wildlife Update : World Rhino Day 2011 fights African poaching « LEARN FROM NATURE

  8. Pingback: Good news | The Slowvelder

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