94 arrested for rhino poaching

Ninety-four people have been arrested for rhino poaching and smuggling rhino horn since the start of 2013, according to the South African environmental affairs department.

94 arrested for rhino poaching in South Africa 2013
The insatiable appetite for rhino horn may mean rhinos become extinct within 20 years

“44 alleged poachers have been arrested in the Kruger National Park, 20 in Limpopo, 13 in KwaZulu-Natal, 8 in North West, 6 in Mpumalanga, and 3 in Gauteng,” reports department spokesperson Albi Modise. He also urges South Africans to report poaching.

“The arrests came as the number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year increased to 292.”

 The Kruger National Park continued to be the worst hit, with the number of rhino poached there since January increasing to 216.

Latest statistics for Poached Rhinos in South Africa:-

2008 = 83

2009 = 122

2010 = 333

2011 = 448

2012 = 668

2013 = 292   rhinos have already been killed this year .

At this rate, the poached rhino figure could reach nearly 800 by the end of 2013.

Rhino poaching is also on the rise in East Africa as well, so a new focus is being tried.  A private sanctuary in Kenya, Lewa Conservancy, with 12% of Kenya’s rhinos, has recently appointed an ex-captain in the British Army as their CEO, rather than someone who has studied zoology or biology.  It is now clear that this degree of poaching is only possibly with people on the inside feeding information, which makes the anti-poaching job extra difficult. “All the helicopters and all the weaponry in the world cannot win a war without on-the-ground intelligence”.

rhino poaching statistics for 2013
Rhinos rescued from a snare at the Zululand Wildlife Conservation volunteer project

This also follows the devastating news last month, that the last known rhinoceroses in Mozambique have been wiped out by poachers, apparently working in cahoots with the game rangers responsible for protecting them.

 

 

Rhino horn is now more expensive (by weight) than gold or cocaine, and as a result rhino poaching is reaching epidemic proportions.

Although a huge amount is being done to prevent the poaching and killing of these protected species, from effectively poisoning the horn with indelible dye, to eliminate its value, and to make it visible on an x-ray scanner so airport security checkpoints can pick up the presence, to state-of-the-art drones patrolling the skies to monitor rhino and potential poaching activity, but clearly still more needs to be done to reduce the unrelenting demand for the rhino horn.

If you would like to help with rhino and wildlife conservation on the ground, and become a wildlife volunteer in Africa, you can be assured of a fulfilling experience of a lifetime. Just email gemma@amanzitravel.com to find a suitable wildlife conservation volunteer project, suited to your own needs, or take a look at the Amanzi Travel website (www.amanzitravel.com) for more inspiration.

 

Gemma

Gemma

A truly life changing experience, working on wildlife and community volunteering projects in Africa over eight years ago, convinced Gemma Whitehouse to give up her job as a Marketing Manager for an international organisation and use her skills and expertise to set up a company that would offer others the same amazing opportunities with a service second to none - thus Amanzi Travel was born.

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