Archive for the Africa: Rhinos Category

SA: Elite teams unite to fight Rhino atrocities

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by kendickjerkins

An elite group of government and private environmental professionals have formed a task team to combat further rhino poaching amid fears that syndicates operating nationally are based in Port Elizabeth. The Green Scorpions, the National Wildlife Reaction Unit, the Port Elizabeth organized crime unit, SA National Parks and 12 private game reserves forming part of the Indalo Group are working together in an attempt to curb rhino poaching on reserves across the Eastern Cape. For the past three months game reserves in the province have been put on high alert in fear that rhino poaching syndicates will strike again.

The task team is investigating the recent slaughter of a 14-year-old rhino cow on Kwantu Game Reserve, 80 km from Port Elizabeth, over the Easter weekend. The cow’s death led to its year-old calf being killed by a pride of lions less than two days after its mother was slaughtered for her horns. Green Scorpions deputy director Jaap Pienaar said the recent poaching attack had been expected, as the Eastern Cape was the only province not targeted by the syndicates since the beginning of the year. The Green Scorpions, who are now working with the new crack squad known as the National Wildlife Reaction Unit, will specifically tackle ongoing rhino poaching, and other matters relating to care of the environment.

It is estimated that one rhino is killed every 41 hours somewhere in South Africa

Rhino pair in Port Elizabeth, SA (Credit: Matthias Maddux)

To read the full article, click here

It’s official South Africa Declares War on Poachers: New Steps Taken to Curb Wildlife Crimes

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The South African government has just allocated 2 million rands (approximately $270,000) to set up an anti-poaching unit.  According to Buyelwa Sonjica, the water and environment minister, 55 rhinos have already been killed in South Africa this year for horns.  The major focus for this National Wildlife Reaction Unit will be Kruger National Park as well as other reserves in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.  300 prosecutors and 200 magistrates have also been trained in environmental crimes in preparation for the opening of a new court dedicated to just that.

A rhinoceros on the side of the road in Kruger National Park.

A ranger with over 100 illegally trapped fish in Kruger National Park.

Two anti-poaching rangers from South Africa with confiscated wire snares.

To read the full article about the new anti-poaching unit in South Africa click here

Bookmark and Share

Rhino Baby Born, Milestone Number Reached at 100…good news or sad news?

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Finally 100 rhinos are now in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.  With poaching on the rise again, especially for rhino horns, numbers like 100 are a big deal.  The conservancy is one of the main breeding grounds for rhinos in Kenya and has enjoyed great successes in spite of challenges, which need to be dealt with. Elsewhere in East Africa, Uganda had lost her entire population of rhinos in the early 1980s, when dictatorships turned a blind eye to poaching or when allegedly regime members were part and parcel of the poaching rings, and only a few years ago did the Rhino Fund Uganda bring the Southern White species back into the country and started a breeding program on the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where the three females have since given birth to three healthy young males.

Rhino mother and calf

Meanwhile in Kenya, breeding programs are much more advanced already, having commenced two-and-a-half decades earlier, when the Lewa Down Conservancy and the equally-private Solio Game Reserve were joined by the first two official rhino reserves in Lake Nakuru National Park and in Tsavo West National Park below the Ngulia escarpment. Relative newcomer Ol Pejeta, however, turned the tables on the more established breeding programs when it became the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa.

However, considering rhinoceros used to be present all across Africa, the fact that now having 100 be a milestone number is deeply disturbing.  While the human population is growing at a runaway rate (almost 7,000,000,000, that is 7 billion) we are stuck celebrating rhinos reaching the three digit mark once again in this pristine Kenyan breeding habitat.  As long there is a market for illegally killed and butchered animals we will continue to push many species to the brink of extinction, and if we do not pay attention, they will go over the edge never to be seen again.

To read the full article about Ol Pejeta click here

Bookmark and Share

Africa’s Lost Eden: A Rare Yet Hopeful Success Story

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Lions, Africa: Primates, Africa: Rhinos, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Mozambique was torn apart by civil war in 1977.  During that war, 1,000,000 people died as well as almost the entire zebra, buffalo, and hippo population due to cross-fire killing. About 95% of the large animal population was decimated in Gorongosa National Park in addition to the rampant poaching to fund the war effort.  This in turn drastically affected the overall ecology of the region as some of the major players were no longer there: vegetation grew, birds lost their nesting habitat, fires began much more common, etc.

The park was shut down and abandoned in 1983 as clashes between opposing forces waged on for another decade. However, a relocation program was implemented in which elephants, buffalo and hopefully soon, other animals will be reintroduced into the Gorongosa National Park.  A group of scientists are trying to save this park and the species that used to be there so that another chunk of their only remaining  territory is not lost. Led by the US based Carr foundation, in collaboration with the government of Mozambique, the foundation invested about $10 million into the parks restoration between 2004-2007. Due to the rapid success of the three year project the government of Mozambique and the Carr foundation agreed in 2008 to sign a 20-year agreement to restore and co-manage the park. Today thousands of visitors visit the park annually which is open from 6am – 6pm.

Lioness in Gorongosa National Park

Urema Lake in Gorongosa National Park

A hippo and wading birds back in Gorongosa National Park.

National Geographic Wild has aired a 1 hour special on Gorongosa National Park titled ‘Africa’s Lost Eden’

To read the full article click here

Bookmark and Share

South Africa: Poachers Strike Pilanseberg: Suzi RIP – The first rhino to be poached in its 31 year history

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by kendickjerkins

An endangered Black Rhino was poached in the Pilanesberg National Park, the first rhino to be poached in this Park in its 31 year history. The 26 year old female, known as Suzi, was shot 4 times, one of the shots in the front leg “knee” joint probably to prevent her from running away or attacking, before both horns were removed by pangas.

Two holes were found in the boundary fence in a remote area of the park. Park management immediately called in a helicopter to search the area to see if the breaches in the fence were linked to rhino poaching, when the carcass of Suzi was spotted from the air. The gang had walked through the bush until finding Suzi where she was shot and her horns were removed. A full forensic investigation was carried out at the scene by the South African Police Services and spent cartridges, as well as other evidence, was found.

Suzi and her calf

Poachers removed her horn with pangas (machetes) and the knee bullet wound is visible

To Read the Full Article, Click Here

Bookmark and Share

Brutal Black Rhino Slaying Leaves an Infant Orphaned

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2010 by kendickjerkins

At 2 AM on Saturday a 14-year old black rhino carcass was found that in the Kwantu Game Reserve, which is only about 80 km from Port Elizabeth.  The rhino had been killed, then both of its’ horns had been removed and the body and had been partially covered with sticks.  This particular rhino was a female with a one-year old weaning calf that rangers are trying to find in order to assess whether or not it needs continued weaning.  Rhino calves normally wean for eighteen months, so it is important that the calf be found sooner rather than later in order to increase its chances of survival.  An investigation into the killing is currently underway, and all game reserves in the area are on high alert in case more attacks are planned.

The dead rhino’s head with both horns removed in Kwantu Game Reserve.

An orphaned black rhino calf

To read this full article click here

Bookmark and Share

Zambia: Poaching expected to increase due to CITES refusal to sell ivory stockpiles

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Mark O’Donnell, chairman of the Zambian Tourism Council, stated that the refusal by CITES to allow Zambia to sell ivory may increase poaching.  The Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) which needs money to maintain its conservation programs is worried that without the ability to sell ivory as a source of revenue they will not be able to effectively regulate poaching. He stated, “This is all well and good but does not take into account the facts and does not address the needs of ZAWA to obtain revenue. ZAWA needs revenue to enable good conservation programs to be put into place so that wildlife management improves. With better management animal populations will increase and our ability to attract visitors to Zambia will improve,” O’Donnell said. “It is unfortunate that those countries that do not support Zambia are not offering alternatives to us. Where is the money going to come from to run better conservation programs? The refusal to allow Zambia to market her legal ivory may indeed lead to higher levels of poaching as there is simply a lack of resources.”

“ZAWA has an area of 250,000 square kilometers to manage. This is larger than many countries in Europe. ZAWA only has a limited number of personnel to do this. There is a lack of equipment, logistics and support to enable this to be done,” said O’Donnell. “I find it very frustrating that delegates to meetings such as CITES do not fully appreciate the problems associated with wildlife management and conservation in Zambia and chose to sit and pass judgement against Zambia without offering credible alternatives. I think this is a very shortsighted approach. Rather than just be negative towards Zambia’s proposals, it would have been far more useful to come forward with money and ideas that would have enabled us to do a better job in this area”

Zawa Rangers

To read the full article click here

Bookmark and Share

Groundbreaking Scientific Research Officially Disproves Rhino Horn’s Medicinal Value

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2010 by kendickjerkins

It is believed by some people that centuries old traditional Chinese medicine made from rhino horns have curative properties. This demand, evidently, has caused the demise of thousands of Rhinos  across the globe. It has caused organized crime syndicates to become directly involved in poaching and created a billion dollar underground market.

However a team of scientist led by Dr. Raj Amin of the Zoological Society of London has scientifically proven via analysis, that rhino horn contains no medicinal value what so ever. The video below explains his conclusions more in depth and how he also discovers identitive properties of rhino horn, which can trace the origins of where it came from.

To Read the Full Article…Click Here

Bookmark and Share

2009: Bleak Year for Rhinos, Reports of worldwide poaching at 15 year high

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Last year, rhino poaching worldwide hit a 15-year high due to increased demand for rhino horn. A recent report by TRAFFIC and IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, showed that since 2006, 95 percent of the poaching in Africa has occurred in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Furthermore the report analyzes poaching incidents by month and through certain countries. It is a good reminder of the issues conservation leaders faced around CoP14 last year and the events and statistics leading to CoP15 which takes place in a few weeks.

Most rhino horns leaving southern Africa are destined for medicinal markets in southeast and east Asia, especially Vietnam, where demand has escalated in recent years.

To Read the Full Report by IUCN, TRAFFIC and WWF…Click Here

Bookmark and Share

Poaching war in Zimbabwe escalates as more suspected poachers nabbed

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Police in Masvingo have arrested four people suspected to be on a poaching expedition and recovered a 303 rifle fitted with a silencer and telescopic lance and 42 live rounds of ammunition. Two others were arrested after they were found in possession of a fresh rhino horn which they failed to account for. Confirming the arrest to Sunday News last Thursday, police spokesman for Masvingo Province Inspector Tinaye Matake said police in Mwenezi arrested Freedom Chiradza (35), Almon Ndlovu (32), Humbulani Ndou (32) and Rueben Sibanda (43) in the Mbuyana Conservancy in Mwenezi. Further investigations by the police led to the arrest of Loveness Moyo (35) and Rogers Mukwena (40) who were found in possession of a rhino horn that they also failed to account for.

To Read the Article…Click Here