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Poaching in Kruger out of control

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Naracoorte
posts: 1,521
reviews: 14
Poaching in Kruger out of control

I thought long and hard about posting this because I love KNP and we are loyal annual visitors.

Poaching in KNP is out of control. The government and Sanparks are losing the battle. Someone on Sanparks forum, a Kruger park visitor found a mutilated rhino corpse next to a tourist road in the park in the last day or so. Not out in a remote area of KNP, but next to a regularly used tourist road. 600+ rhino have died this year in South Africa, more than half in Kruger. Anti-poaching patrols are putting lives on the line every day and night. These brave people are being undermined directly or indirectly by the inaction, apathy or underhanded actions of others. It is time to draw a line in the sand. The time for hand wringing is over. If you care about the future of rhino in Kruger National Park (and in general) PLEASE do the following:

go to www.sanparks.org

Go to 'interact' and then Forums on the home page.

Join the forum.

Go to the Indaba Poaching thread or just start a new topic under the Kruger Park thread and voice your concern. Let your feelings and concerns be heard. Do it now. PLEASE.

International voices are loud. Tourism dollars speak the loudest.

Thank you for reading.

Kruger National...
posts: 935
reviews: 23
1. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Hi Tryhard,

I have witnessed this first hand. We have had two rhinos taken from our own reserve over the past year, and am aware of the post that you are talking about above.

To be honest, the government is loosing the battle because nobody knows who to trust anymore. Game farm owners, vets, and yes - even the government - are all involved. Unfortunately, money speaks much louder than empathy.

I am highly active in the rhino conservation sector, and am on the board of directors for a non profit rhino group. This is a MASSIVE issue, and unfortunately, unless every single person who has ever loved or visited Kruger (myself included - We live 20 minutes away and are actually going today) boycotted the park, it would not do much good.

The only real option we have left (in my opinion) is protection. It does no good to tell the Eastern countries that their idea of an aphrodisiac and common cold curer is decimating the rhino - This is something that they have believed for centuries. But then again - How do we know who to trust?

Currently, we (my organization) are hosting a yearly massive festival with musicians from all over South Africa coming to donate their time to perform. All funds raised from the festival go straight to the ones on the front line - The brave men and women risking their lives to fight what has now become a real war.

This year we equipped them with everything they needed for an anti-poaching patrol vehicle, and items such as bullet proof vests etc.

I know it's easy to blame the ones who killed the rhino, but it is never only them - there is an incredibly long chain of people involved in a rhino killing, all the way from Eastern countries, to other African countries, then finally in South Africa.

The ones who actually butcher the rhino for the horn are usually local people with knowledge of the area and the rhinos within it.

They are usually poor people,or people on a very low salary, tempted with money to feed their families. The middle men take massive advantage of this & actually pay them what is a measly amount compared to what the horn sells for in the market (more than gold per kilogram - now around US $67,000). I am obviously not at all justifying it AT ALL, but am just saying that we need to concentrate on where it all begins - with the demand.

What is everyone else's opinions as to what we can do to stop this?

J

Kruger National...
posts: 935
reviews: 23
2. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Also, Tryhard, it is so amazing to see this passion that you have for the park & it's inhabitants. Please do keep it up!

Kruger National...
posts: 935
reviews: 23
3. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

REGARDING THE RHINO

Hi all,

Just a heads up - We went to the park today and saw what I am guessing is the same rhino. We spoke to the rangers & the officials, and it was not poached - It fought with a black rhino and died, and the horns had to be removed for obvious reasons. So thank goodness, in this case, the rhino died the only way it should - natural causes.

J

Naracoorte
posts: 1,521
reviews: 14
4. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Thanks - That is a very big relief to hear it was not a poached rhino - I hope that not many visitors were alarmed by seeing the de-horned rhino and not knowing the cause.

Still, that little bit of good news should not detract from the reality as it stands.

This is a very complex issue, fighting the demand in Asian countries is certainly essential but a long term scenario. Right now poaching is on a steep upward curve. At the current rate of increase South Africa will lose more than 1000 rhino next year unless there are some critical breakthroughs with the syndicates and with those working against the system from the inside. And therein lies the crux of the problem.

Naracoorte
posts: 1,521
reviews: 14
5. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Sadly, it appears from further info on the Sanparks forum that the original information was correct and it was indeed a poached rhino. :(

It seems the other reported rhino carcass was a separate incident of natural death as described above.

Ficksburg, South...
posts: 744
reviews: 88
6. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Hi,

sadly I too have witness this first hand in the past. Its horiffic.The rhino I saw was confirmed as having been poached. It does seem though that the parks are fighting a losing battle. Although there are checks at the gate they are cursory at best. I ffel that they should be more thorough, however I am not naive enough to believe this is the solution.

Poachers will always find a way. I just wish that the penalites were much harsher, but with the monetary rewards being what they are I don't think that that will stop them either.

Kruger National...
posts: 935
reviews: 23
7. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Aah.. This saddens me deeply. The unofficial number is now up to 606.

J

Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,073
reviews: 125
8. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

That is terrible, it makes me sad to read about the poaching of those poor animals.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for South Africa
posts: 622
reviews: 7
9. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

Check out the bottom of the page graph which shows the number of white and black rhino on a year by year basis - we are well beyond the plateau and starting to tumble as number of rhinos poached in a year has now overtaken the number born.. SA has 80% of the world's rhinos.

www.stoprhinopoaching.com/statistics.aspx

10. Re: Poaching in Kruger out of control

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