Three more rhino killed in second attack on same reserve

Bingo, a rhino bull, survived the brutal poaching at Sibuya but was blinded and died later
Bingo, a rhino bull, survived the brutal poaching at Sibuya but was blinded and died later

‘Trading illegally, a gram of rhino horn is worth more now than a gram of cocaine or even a gram of gold’

THREE black rhino – two adults and a calf – were found dead in the second poaching incident at the same nature reserve in the Eastern Cape in just two weeks.

The slaughter occurred in the Great Fish River Nature Reserve near Grahamstown, managed by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. The latest incident brings the total number of rhino killed in the province since the beginning of the year to 13, with five killed last month alone.

Black rhino, with a total population of about 5 000, are listed as critically endangered.

The reserve has a total area of 45 000 hectares and has been operational since 1994. It is a clustered conservation area comprising the Andries Vosloo Kudu Reserve, Double Drift Kudu Reserve and Double Drift Nature Reserve.

According to provincial police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci the carcass of an adult black rhino was discovered at about 7am yesterday by the head ranger of the reserve who had been flying a fixed-wing aircraft.

“While officials were conducting their investigation, a second rhino, a calf, was also discovered. Both rhinos were dehorned and appeared to have been shot,” Soci said.

She said a third rhino carcass was found while specialist investigators were still on the scene.

Last night, ECPTA chief executive Vuyani Dayimani said his office was restricted from commenting on the matter and referred all questions to Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo.

Somyo could not be reached despite repeated attempts.

Last month two black rhino – a mother and calf – were shot dead and a third was wounded on the reserve.

Earlier last month two white rhino were found dead at Sibuya Game Reserve, near Kentonon-Sea. A third rhino, a bull called Bingo, survived the savage attack, which blinded him, but he died later on the game farm.

Leading conservationist and Wilderness Foundation chief executive Dr Andrew Muir said the spate of poaching incidents in the Eastern Cape was alarming and a result of “displacement” of poaching syndicates up north.

“As the Kruger and other reserves up north become more organised and put the necessary actions in place, poachers decide to go for easier pickings where security measures are not yet on the same level. So they move to other provinces such as the Eastern Cape.

“However, we already have private and state owners coming together and plans are being made. I am sure that together as owners, conservationists, NGOs and other stakeholders we can make the Eastern Cape resilient against these syndicates,” he said.

Muir described poaching syndicates as “highly organised” crews.

“Trading illegally, a gram of rhino horn is worth more now than a gram of cocaine or even a gram of gold. It is extremely lucrative and this is why we need to put up a united front against this global issue,” he said.

2 thoughts on “Three more rhino killed in second attack on same reserve

  • April 22, 2016 at 4:55 am
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    Andy White, I agree. It just seems Timmy that every country wants to save African wildlife lions and elephants and rhinos however Africa seems to be doing absolutely nothing to save their wildlife. I think they’re telling everyone on all these Animal Welfare websites a lot of lies. The African government takes our doations and uses it for their own pleasures. All the while, every day, you hear of another Rhino slaughter, another elephant slaughter, another lion slaughter. All these animals were unprotected. Where in the hell are all the guards assigned to protecting them? Probably at the local bar or at home asleep. IF African people and the government really wanted to stop the slaughter of their wildlife, I believe we would have seen some progress way beyond what is really happening. I think Africans are just sitting there feeding everyoe crap about their progress over poaching.feeding us a bunch of Lies and using our donations for their own pleasures. If the African government is serious about helping save the wildlife they need to start acting like it. These rhinos recently killed in this story should have never been killed. What in the hell are Africans doing anyway to protect them it seems to me they are doing nothing until I see or read something that they are doing to show they’re serious about saving Wildlife I called the African government corrupt abusive and using our donation money to help with Wildlife illegally for their own personal gain

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  • April 17, 2016 at 12:47 pm
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    The world needs to adopt a much more radical approach to save the remaining elephants and Rhino. We need to fight greed with greed-use plea bargaining to get other members of the poaching gangs incriminated, and encourage locals to report the criminals with significant financial rewards. At the bottom the local poacher who only gets a couple hundred dollars for his ivory or horn should be offered a significant sum of money (so he doesn’t need to poach) to implicate the dealer that he supplies along with offers of protection and re location. If he doesn’t want to take it up he spends time in prison. Moving up the chain when the trader is implicated they also are given a choice to cooperate and implicate the exporter and serve a short time jail term or spend many years in jail – again protection and relocation services would be required. Keep this going up the chain till you reach the suppliers in Asia where some form of an international enforcement agency would target them. Only by being aggressive and using these criminals greed to feed on themselves will we be able to save the elephants and Rhino in time. All the education, culture change and campaigning will not stop the criminals and I fear will be to late to save the remaining animals .

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