Addo Park, private reserves on alert for roving poachers

addo3_news_19206_5917The Addo Elephant National Park is on high alert amid fears that successes against poachers in other parts of South Africa could drive poachers to the Eastern Cape.

Ernie Bergins, an executive committee member of SanParks’ Honorary Rangers, yesterday said successes in combating rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park – where military members have been deployed – could result in poaching at Addo and private reserves, which are also on the alert.

Bergins, who is tasked with fundraising for the rangers and the Addo Park, was speaking ahead of the 2015 Spar River Mile to be hosted on the Sundays River near one of the park’s entrances, at Cannonville, at the weekend.

The Honorary Rangers will go big on their anti-rhino-poaching campaign at the River Mile festival, with the display of a life-sized rhino replica on the back of a big bakkie.

In addition, the rangers will be raffling tickets for a weekend getaway for two at Addo’s premier Matyholweni Rest Camp, along with unique Castle imitation rhino horn beer glasses.

“The festival is an ideal venue, due to its proximity to Addo, and an event to promote awareness around poaching. We call on visitors to the festival to give us their full support,” Bergins said.

“While we generate awareness around rhino poaching, elephant poaching, for ivory, is also a grave concern.

“Last year, thousands of elephants were killed in Tanzania and more than 100 in Zimbabwe.

“We also need to raise awareness around the threats to our own elephants,” Bergins said.

-Shaun Gillham

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