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SanParks is calling for society to help in the fight against rhino poaching by being more vigilant and reporting any suspicious behaviour. This is following an incident yesterday where the carcasses of two rhinos (a cow and its baby) were discovered by a safari vehicle in the Kruger National Park (KNP). Both animals had been shot and had their horns removed.

An investigation was conducted by members of a joint SanParks and SAPS team of officials, which saw the arrest of four Kruger National Park officials last night who were linked to rhino poaching activities. All four individuals were based in the Pretoriuskop section of the Kruger, which has seen 11 rhino deaths alone since January 2012. The suspects include a field ranger who has previously embarked on strikes against SanParks in the Kruger and a member of the Protection Service unit (a traffic cop).

‘It is a very sad day for South Africa to find out that the unscrupulous and revolting hands of the poaching syndicates have stretched as far as to taint the hands of those trusted with the great responsibility of being guardians of our natural heritage,’ said SanParks CEO Dr. David Mabunda, ‘I am personally saddened to discover that some of our own would so callously abuse the confidence and faith that we have entrusted upon them.’

According to SanParks, the Kruger National Park has had 43 rhino deaths and 80 rhinos have been poached in total throughout South Africa since the beginning of 2012.

Below are SanParks’ current statistics on rhino poaching:


And their current statistics for arrests related to rhino poaching:


Mabunda stated that society also has a role in identifying and reporting any suspicious behaviour that could lead to the demise of our animals and towards the conviction of these criminals. This will surely help. However, it is a ‘wait and see’ method as opposed to a ‘prevention is better than cure’ solution. There must be action initiated before poachers have the chance to even get close to the animals, otherwise when a call is eventually made, the animal may already be dead. Perhaps the new radar technology could pose a solution in this regard, it may be expensive to set up, but when something so priceless is at stake, surely these measures must be taken?

What can you do to help?

For tip-offs call SanParks on 082-908-3053 or email them at antipoaching@sanparks.org.

Visit their website to stay up to date with the latest news www.sanparks.org

 



6 Responses to “SanParks calls for society to help in the fight against rhino poaching”

  1. Louise Joubert

    The KNP simply cannot expect society and the public at large to support them while they continue to deny and acknowledge that the rhino population in South Africa has now entered a negative growth period and will be driven back to the brink of extinction. Neither can they expect or ask for support while they continue to treat rhinos as mere commodities to be auctioned off the the highest bidders. They also cannot ask for support to “save rhinos” while they continue to support and endorse the legal hunting of rhinos in South Africa.
    First I suggest they clarify their policy to the public at large and then they should embark on a security screening of all their employees and if neccessary contract private companies (that is not appointed on the basis of who you know of who is willing to bride you) that can actually handle the sensitive nature and security around the poaching and killing of rhinos.
    It is not secret that rhinos in the KNP can only be poached to this extent with inside knowledge and the whereabouts been given to poachers be it via cell phone SMS GPS locations or by actual sightings of the animals. Rhinos are creatures of habit and hold to territories to a great extent. If neccessary these terrritories should be protected by armed patrols that can be trusted. It seems the biggest problem in the KNP is the job creation that results in the appointment of untrustworthy staff. The question remains if staff cannot be trusted can management be trusted. May be worth investigating who is on the take here?

    Reply
  2. Mrs Angie Pather

    I support Save the Rhinos Campaign. Arrested poachers should be given a harsher sentence or even a death sentence, to send out a strong message to future barbarians of this inhumane act:-( Let us all unite & be the Voice of these innocent Rhinos. Let’s Stop Rhino Poaching.

    Reply
  3. Garth Huggins

    I am a pensioner and thus have lots of free time, I also have a 4×4 bakkie and a hunting rifle, I am willing to be a voluntary ranger in any park in RSA. All I ask is for the parks to feed me, keep me and supply my vehical with diesel, no salary required.
    Surely there must be lots more like me that will be willing to give up time to assist in the preservation of our rhino’s and wildlife in general.

    Reply
  4. James Monteiro

    Society being involved is a reasonable request. But asking people to identify and report suspicious behaviour is nigh impossible, when the Kruger National Park (KNP) confines visitors to its camps by night. From approx. 6pm to 4:30am, poachers have free reign to move around the Park undetected. Opening up camp gates (24hrs) will put more eyes on the road, and at the least, disrupt poachers’ movements.

    Poachers could then stay in the camps and head out at night, naysayers might argue. In which case, more stringent checks – guns, people, etc – should be performed at Park entrance gates. Ultimately, the KNP would resemble a Botswana-type environment, where visitors go when and where they please.

    Reply
  5. Jill Vickerman

    Hi, About an hour ago I heard a lady phone into Cape Talk from somewhere near Lower Sabie, they had driven passed a Rhino lying down and while they watched they saw it convulse and it was covered in blood. then a guy came out of the bush with a gun and I think she said that he told them to be quiet and that they were waiting for the poachers, she said that they drove off and went straight to Lower Sabie (I think she said) and the guards there said there are no rangers to go and investigate because they are all on strike!
    So much for that…and how bad is it that they are poaching the Rhino right next to the road.
    I just thought that id tell someone on a blog incase you hadnt heard or incase you can investigate.
    We can kiss all our Rhino goodbye at this rate!
    Thanks
    Jill

    Reply
  6. Craig liebenberg

    Good morning

    Im wanting to find out about helping out with the field rangers against Rhino poaching in the Kruger Park, Im curious to know if there is any possibility in helping out in way! Im really interested in helping out and wanted to find out more on what can i do to help!!

    Reply

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