The increasingly sophisticated weapons and tactics that rhino poachers use suggest that they are getting help from corrupt wildlife officials, a report said.
The South Africa-Vietnam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus report, released in Johannesburg yesterday, said these "developments" had identified a "new face" in poaching.
"Rhinos are usually killed with AK-47 assault rifles but a growing number are killed with weapons characteristically used by wildlife industry professionals," read the report.
The report was compiled by the UK-based wildlife trade monitoring NGO, Traffic....
Vietnamese hunters account for 48% (185) of the 384 registered hunters paying $22-million to hunt rhino between 2009 and May.
The abuse has become so bad that South Africa's hunting associations have warned their members to avoid Vietnamese clients, and the Environmental Affairs Department has suspended issuing hunting permits to Vietnamese.
Traffic spokesman Richard Thomas said that, because Vietnam is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, it has an obligation to eliminate the trade in rhino horn....
Via Wildlife Margrit