Killed by poachers

Kwantu game reserve lost another rhino to poachers over the weekend. The reserve is a short drive from my house, the report in my local newspaper tells me that the horn, which is all that they took sells for up to S.A.Rand 700,000 (£60,000) presumably in the far east.

This female was still nursing her 12 month old calf, there is now concern about the calfs well being. She had successfully produced 2 calves previously, this is not just a blow to Kwantu and eco-tourism but nature conversation as a whole.

I wrote about Kwantu losing a rhino to poachers last year, Mr Jeeva who is referred to as the ‘Chief Executive’ in the article is  one the largest benefactors of The Quest School for Autism in the country, it makes me doubly angry.

16 thoughts on “Poachers”

  1. This is terrible news. Just for the ‘horn’ a life is lost and potentially the baby too.

    (BTW I had a shock yesterday while out walking in Oxfordshire / Berks countryside. We passed come huge gates and across the grass a rhino. A huge rhino.

    Turns out is is a statue. Very realistic. )

  2. So sad, I wonder what will be left when they have finished destroying everything, animal and human.
    Not too good on the karmic scale of things is it for future forebodings?

  3. Ugh. I once had the good fortune of meeting Ian Player, head of the game reserve in Durban. And the greater good fortune of spending a couple of days and nights on the reserve. He was responsible for the saving of the white rhino in South Africa. While there we came across a rhino skeleton, but that rhino had died of old age. I still have one of its teeth, which Dr. Player popped out of its jaw for me. Rhinos are formidable and that is their grace. I remember one swinging its horn in my direction, and knowing I had been threatened. I also remember an elephant stranded on a small island in Zimbabwe, not much larger than it was, because of a dam that had flooded its territory. It was trumpeting in distress. Africa, beautiful Africa. What can we do? What can we do?

  4. What a great shame. The Yemen and Saudi are big importers of rhino horn for horn dagger handles. The Far East import for its supposed medicinal properties. Very difficult to stop when the poachers can make so much money.

  5. Good question Boa, I can’t recall a single wildlife poacher being caught and penalised in these parts. The killing of large animals as described here is a pretty rare occurrence, it’s assumed that the gangs arrive from up country, get what they want and then go back.

    We do however have a huge problem with gangs poaching Perlemoen (abalone) our coastline is being stripped bare by brazen gangs diving and collecting it by the ton.

    The haul is shelled, dried and sold to Eastern syndicates, hardly a week goes by without news of a perlemoen bust in our newspapers.

    The penalty if convicted is normally a fine or short jail term (usually suspended) More importantly all assets identified in the conviction are confiscated and auctioned with proceeds going to our Sea fisheries Dept, this includes, boats, large 4×4’s, diving equipment, processing equipment (table/refridgeration) and more than once a poachers house!

  6. I had a horrible feeling you were going to say that, Soutie.

    We have problems with Indonesians taking abalone here, the penalty is the same. Then idiot do-gooders in Darwin go around collecting money for new boats for the ‘poor’ fishermen who have lost their boats and their livelihood. I guess you know where my hand stayed – that’s right – firmly in my pocket!

  7. Dr Player did have patrols in the game reserve in Durban in an effort to curb the poachers. It didn’t stop them but it definitely slowed them down. And he did prevent the extinction of the white rhinoceros. His conservation efforts led to the formation of the World Wilderness Conference. Reading his bio helps, and he’s still in Durban. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Player

  8. I was with a wildlife state vet today, I asked him Boa’s question, he said not many, and the guys that are prosecuted and convicted are normally the locals who acted as guides for 2 or 3 bags of mieliemeal.

    He did however mention that in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe (I was surprised at this one) and Botswana that poachers aren’t arrested but simply shot on sight. Not just the guy carrying the rifle but the whole group!

  9. Hi Soutie, certainly there was a stage where Zim poachers were being shot on site. (That rather goes back to my question sometime back about the moral dilemma of choosing between a human life and the life of a rhino.) There were case of Parks helicopters flying up the Zambezi valley with the bodies of poachers dangling beneath for others to see. Eventually they were dropped into the croc infested waters. But all that was when there was a reasonable level of control. Now many of the poaching syndicates are run by Government ministers, I am not sure that such actions are still followed. The tragedy of the whole thing is that it is so shortsighted. Killing a rhino will get the poacher two weeks worth of food. But then what? He will be hungry again and there will be no more rhinos to kill.

  10. Cheers Tochy

    Of course it’s been going for years, to be honest the land areas are so vast that no matter what technology they use the odds are always on the poachers side!

    I’m happy with the ‘take no prisoners’ approach, (I’m sure that it happens here)

  11. Thanks for getting back to me on this Soutie. It does seems a bit drastic to shoot to kill – but as several here have pointed out, once the last rhino (or whatever) has been shot that’s the end of it. I often wonder what the hunter who killed the last Tasmanian Tiger felt…

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