Seven rhino poached in Eastern Cape this year
Another rhino poached outside Port Alfred
Three rhino poached in the Eastern Cape since last week
Two rhinos have been poached on a luxury private reserve on the outskirts of Port Alfred making it the second poaching incident, and third death in the area, in less than two weeks.
The latest poaching brings the rhino death tally in the Eastern Cape to seven this year.
Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve on the outskirts of Port Alfred was the latest target, with two rhino killed and dehorned by poachers between Wednesday night and early Thursday.
Authorities were still searching for a third missing rhino on the reserve on Friday afternoon.
Authorities have now appealed to reserve owners to establish anti-poaching units, either independently or in conjunction with other reserve owners, to protect their rhino.
Police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci said the two adults animals, a cow and bull, were last seen alive at 3pm on Wednesday.
The dead rhino were found by a game reserve employee on Thursday at 10am.
“Indications are that both animals were shot and both horns were removed, one cut off with a knife and the other hacked off.
"A third animal is still missing and the search continues,” she said.
Oceana general manager Chris Roberts declined to give details on the incident but said they were saddened by the incident.
Last week, a four-year-old heifer was found dead on nearby reserve, Fort D Acre Private Game Reserve.
Fort D Acre Private Game Reserve owner Rory Gailey said he and other rhino owners were extremely frustrated by the spate of poachings.
“I am very frustrated and angry. There is nothing else I can do to stop these poachers.
"They are just running amok doing what they want. It is such a massive security risk to keep these animals that several reserves owners are opting not to keep rhino anymore,” he said.
“People donate money to support the anti-poaching cause but I, and several others, who actually own rhino have never seen a cent from it.
"No game breeder that I know of in the Eastern Cape has ever received a cent from any save the rhino funding cause.
"We don’t know where this money goes but I can assure you that it is not to us.
"It has gotten to a stage where it is simply a liability to have rhinos. It is more worthwhile and safer to give them away.”..