Rhino carcass found in Marakele Park

Posted by Athenkosi Matyalana on 22 July 2013

A dehorned rhino carcass was discovered in the northern section of  Marakele National Park near Thabazimbi in Limpopo on Wednesday, 17 July.

According to a press release on the SANParks website, field rangers who were out on a routine patrol discovered the dehorned rhino bull at around 17:00 on Wednesday. The field rangers had detected the tracks of three unidentified people, and followed the tracks to where they exited the park. Upon backtracking on the same tracks they found the rhino carcass.

Paul Daphne, SanParks Head of Communication, said the park had not experienced any poaching incidents in the past two years.  “We are distressed at the loss of this rhino, as SANParks had put in place a number of enhanced security measures to prevent further rhino poaching in Marakele since the loss of a number of animals at the end of 2011,” said Daphne.

Daphne said attempts will be made to prevent rhino poaching from occurring at the park again. “We will continue to fight the battle against rhino poaching, and we will be implementing further measures in order to ensure greater rhino security. We are continuing to work together with other role players to develop more effective anti-poaching strategies for the Park and also in the Greater Waterberg Biosphere area,” added Daphne.

The incident has increased the number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year to 488.  Environmental Affairs spokesman Albie Modise said that of all the rhino conservation areas in the country, Kruger National Park has been the hardest hit by poaching. “A total of 300 rhino have been poached in the park since January 1. A total of 53 rhino have been poached in North West, 52 in Limpopo, 43 in KwaZulu-Natal, 35 in Mpumalanga, three in Gauteng and two in the Eastern Cape,” said Modise.

Modise added that of 142 arrested alleged poachers, 62 have been caught in the Kruger National Park and 30 in KwaZulu-Natal while 27 suspected poachers have been arrested throughout the country.

Main image by Scott Ramsay

To report incidents of poaching and tip-offs call the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Related: Six simple ways to help end rhino poaching