Monday, 11 April 2016

Unlucky Young rhino shot dead in Kimberley

The Hawks believe that poachers are behind the death of this young white rhino that was found just outside Kimberley on Friday afternoon. Picture: Supplied

Kimberley - The carcass of a young female white rhino was discovered on a farm just outside apparent victim of poachers.
The Northern Cape Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) on Sunday confirmed that the animal was shot.
They were called to the scene on Friday and found the remains of the endangered animal with horns still intact.
While the Hawks were not willing to reveal where the carcass was found, as it may pose a threat to other animals, provincial spokesman, Lieutenant Philani Nkwalase, said that it appears as if the rhino was wounded somewhere else a week earlier, before fleeing and eventually dying where she was found.
“She was found with a bullet wound to the front right shoulder and appears to have died approximately a week ago, as her body was in a decomposed state,” Nkwalase said on Sunday.
“An autopsy was performed on the animal at the scene and while there was a clear entrance wound and no exit wound, no projectile has been found yet.”
The provincial head of the Hawks, Major-General Kholekile Galawe, urged farm owners and employees to be more vigilant in preserving rhinos.
“Any suspicious and unknown vehicles or persons in the farming area should be reported immediately...perhaps our swift response could help in combating rhino poaching,” Galawe said.
Spokesman for the Northern Cape Department of Environmental Affairs, Lesego Pule, said that the department had received reports regarding the incident, but was unable to confirm it on Sunday.
“We have heard that the carcass of a rhino was found outside Kimberley on Friday but are yet to receive 100 percent confirmation at this stage,” Pule said late Sunday afternoon.
“In the last financial year, which ended at the beginning of March, we had no reports of rhino poaching in the Northern Cape, so this appears to be the first case in quite a while.”
In October 2014, South African National Parks (SANParks) issued a tender to sell about 200 white rhinos, with acting managing executive for conservation services, Howard Hendricks, confirming that private buyers had been approached.
Hendricks explained that the aim of these sale was to promote the establishment and growth of a secure and viable rhino population under private landowners, whose bids were subject to stringent requirements, including a habitat assessment and the submission of a security plan.
This came a year after the public protector was called in to investigate the sale of 260 rhinos by SANParks to three private hunting farms in the Northern Cape following Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa’s announcement in August 2013 that 500 rhinos from the Kruger National Park would be relocated in order to ensure their continued safety.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, more than 1 338 rhinos were killed in Africa last year, which is the highest number since the wave of poaching began in 2008.
Of those, 1 175 were killed in South Africa, home to about 80 percent of the continent’s rhino.
Poachers in Africa have slaughtered nearly 6 000 rhinos since 2008, and some conservationists warn that the 25 000 or so remaining wild rhinos could be gone within a decade.
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