Roar Africa

Exploring Africa Since 1688

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rhino crisis returns to the country that saved them!

The southern white rhino was considered extinct in the late 19th century. That was until a small population was found in 1895 in Umfolozi-Hluhluwe region in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. By 2008 they numbered over 19,000 and had become a conservation success story.

According to government figures, 265 rhinos have been poached so far this year in South Africa. This puts 2011 on course to surpass last year's record death toll of 333. In 2007, it was just 13.

It seems that the consequences of poaching are not shared evenly. A poacher, arguably "just trying to feed his family", may be shot dead by rangers. The couriers and kingpins might receive a jail term (earlier this month two Vietnamese men received 10 and 8 years). The consumer driving this demand seems to pay no consequences.

How can we change this? Un-ban trade in horns? Remove rhino horns? flood the market with fake horn? Put poison in the horns? What is the answer?

Rhinos threatened by bogus cancer cure:


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