The CEO of South African National Parks, Dr David Mabunda, announced on 21 January 2010 that the fight against poaching is heating up with the recent arrest of more suspected poachers in the Kruger National park. He further announced that with these successes has also come the sad news of more rhinos continuing to be poached across the country.

South Africa has a problem and the poachers are coming closer to home. We could blame it on the bad economy and job losses, but, local poachers are not being paid well! Are the end-of-the-line markets using people as cheap labour to get the job done? It can’t be that can it? The risk if caught is too high, so why does it keep happening? They are not ordinary petty criminals, these poachers seem to be members of well-resourced syndicates and are also involved in chilling crimes like human trafficking, arms smuggling and drug trafficking. This ‘new’ type of poaching is serious and we need to all become aware of the extent of these crimes.

There have been about 46 arrests made since 2008 and as investigations continue, it is predicted that more arrests will be made soon. So each game reserve is left to defend its own piece of conserved Africa while the battle continues and the numbers of poached rhino increases. Within the first two weeks of 2010, 14 rhino were lost to poaching.

Those of us you live in game reserves and those of you who visit to view our wildlife should keep reporting any suspicious incidents, movement or behavior of people in parks, as well as those dealing with rhino horn, the more the authorities know, the better.

To those task teams, I thank you, to everyone involved is stopping the slaying of rhino for their horns, I am truly grateful. To the families who have lost loved ones whilst anti-poaching, please know I am sorry for your loss and applaud the anti-poaching units’ bravery and dedication.

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3 Responses to “Poaching”

  1. Jen says:

    Thanks for the info re numbers. If 14 Rhinos were brought down by poaching within the first two weeks of 2010, then I am truly lost for words ~ that is a staggering amount ! And it seems we don’t know whether this is actually the official number or not ? That is even worse ! Something DRASTIC has to be done and quickly because I don’t think the fight against this cruelty and rape of our resources has “heated up” enough ( in the words of Dr Mabunda.) Where there have been rangers from Kruger called in at the scene of such a crime recently, they took hours to arrive and seemed quite disinterested to help a poor ranger who was on a different mission that day and who came accross the stricken Rhino, still alive but hacked to bits. WHY was the attitude of the Kruger rangers so apathetical do you think ? I have so many questions and not enough answers. Thank you very much for the added info though.

  2. Trailsafari says:

    I stand under correction but I think this poaching brings the total number up to 22 rhino poached this year! I think there are many unanswered questions and probably some should not be answered to protect the investigation. Anyway, a positive thing has come from this in that, there is more training being offered to field rangers in anti-poaching tactics. Now, just to get the patrols out in full force requires skilled brave people willing to fight for a cause and money. Money for the training and money for the salaries!

  3. Jen says:

    Just shocking….I understand if there is an on going investigation re syndicates etc. That could be tricky but that is only one side to this tragedy ~ the other questions is how does one stop the central core, the demand for Rhino horn which is basically just Keratin but which seems to get our Eastern nations into a frenzy ? HOW do we change their mindset so that we can stop the demand. There has got to be some way of doing this and then yes, of course money lies at the root of solving this aspect too.