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What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
So many stories! Here's a quick look at the good, bad, ugly and encouraging RHINO NEWS
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Infographic: The journey of a rhino horn

Infographic: The journey of a rhino horn | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Trade in rhino horn is banned, but the increasing demand has made it a very lucrative business on the black market.
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SA, Mozambique reach deal to fight rhino poaching

SA, Mozambique reach deal to fight rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
South Africa has signed an anti-poaching agreement with Mozambique, a major transit route for rhino horn trafficked to Asia.
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Rhinos face extinction by 2020, wildlife experts warn

Rhinos face extinction by 2020, wildlife experts warn | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Rhinoceros in the wild will be extinct by 2020 if poachers continue to hunt them unabated at ever-rising numbers, wildlife experts warned at a recent summit in South Africa. 

 

Benson Okita, senior researcher at the Kenya Wildlife Service, presented the warning at the conference "Risk Assessment of Rhino Horn Trade," held last week in Pretoria.

 

The number of rhino has fallen dramatically from historical levels, with roughly 27,950 rhinos remaining in the wild — down from 500,000 at the beginning of the 20th century — said Will Travers, chief executive of conservation group Born Free Foundation....

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Call to legalise rhino horn ‘bound to fail’

Call to legalise rhino horn ‘bound to fail’ | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Johannesburg - South Africa risks huge embarrassment on home soil should it approach the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in 2016 with a proposal to legalise the international trade in rhino horn.

 

This is according to Will Travers, of the Born Free Foundation, who said this week that the country was likely to receive very little support from other countries should it submit a proposal to trade in rhino horn at Cites’ 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17), to be held in Durban in 2016....

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Rhino vs gang victims a false dilemma

Rhino vs gang victims a false dilemma | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

This idea essentially rests on a false dilemma, where choosing to neglect our endangered species will lead to a safer South Africa for potential gang victims.

 

The truth is if you look at poaching in Africa, to a large extent protecting our wildlife is in fact fighting our criminal gangs and terrorist groups....

 

The Patriotic Alliance recently came out and proclaimed that rhinos are more valued than the victims of gangs, and that not as many rhinos are dying...

 

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Agree with Bruce... if we can get our arms around the crime syndicates behind the rhino poaching we will curb other criminal behaviors including gang violence.

It really is about the government reclaiming control isn't it?

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Uganda's Rhino population doubles in recent years

Uganda's Rhino population doubles in recent years | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Uganda's rhino population has more than doubled in recent years, renewing hope the endangered animal will be able to roam free....

 

Poached to total extinction 30 years ago, wild rhinos have not been seen in Uganda since 1983.

 

But Uganda's Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which aims to reintroduce rhinos into the wild, is hopeful of remedying the situation.

 

From an initial core breeding herd of six adult rhinos in 2006, the sanctuary has witnessed nine births and is now home to 15 rhinos. The latest addition, a female calf named Lunar, was born last week....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Hmm! Starting with six... that's not very many.

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Even 60 000 legal horns not enough to supply Asian market

Even 60 000 legal horns not enough to supply Asian market | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
It would be impossible for South Africa to supply the demand of the Asians markets – 60 000 horns a year for China alone – if it were to legally dispose of its stockpile and harvest the horns of living rhino.
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Rhinos 'valued more than gang victims'

Rhinos 'valued more than gang victims' | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Cape Times - President Jacob Zuma should tackle gangsterism in Cape Town rather than the plight of the rhino, Patriotic Alliance president Gayton McKenzie said on Wednesday.

 

“Many more young coloured men are dying every day than the white rhino,” McKenzie said in a letter to Zuma.

 

“The deaths of the rhino are such a hot topic on government’s agenda that you were willing to send in the army to protect the rhino.”

 

He said he could not care less about the rhino anymore and wished they could all be “wiped out tomorrow” so that Cape Flats residents received priority....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Horrible that so many people are being killed because of gang violence in South Africa. However, this should not be an either or situation... save people or rhino.

It sadly appears to be a symptom of far greater problems, all which are escalating... all need attention and solutions.... now.

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Sabine Anderson's curator insight, April 11, 1:23 PM

Gayton Mckenzie will never ever get our vote after such a statement! After this horrendous statement we would like to bring up a few points for him to answer!

1. In the Cape Flats the people choose what they want to do with their lives such as becoming gangster, prostitutes, druggies and becoming a nobody.

2. The Rhinos DO NOT have the backing of the government in the least and especially not from Zuma! After thousands of signatures on my petition and hundreds of emails to Zuma I and many others have NOT been acknowledged in any way!!!!! Therefore the Rhinos are not on his agenda in any way either!!

3.The 2 young children from OMG tried in vain to hand over 10000 letters from children all over the world in a bid to save our Rhinos and were not welcome to do so! Zuma did not agree to meet them and Edna Molewa reluctantly accepted them!

4. We have had many people from all over the world saying that if we do not have the BIG5 they will not come to South Africa any longer! Do you understand the implications of that??? My husband says:"WAKE UP F... FACE! YOU A.......! Thank God that we do NOT have people like you running the country!"

5. People who do not have a love for animals will never become good members of any society!!! 

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Boy creates unique game to help save the rhino

Boy creates unique game to help save the rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

AN East London schoolboy has turned his love of rhinos into a board game to try and save the critically endangered species from extinction.

Inspired by Thandi, the Sunshine Coast rhino who somehow survived after her horn was hacked off by poachers, Riley Devan, 10, created the unique game as a way to raise funds to protect Eastern Cape rhino from poachers.

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Rhino conference gears up for tough debate

Rhino conference gears up for tough debate | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
An international rhino conference in Pretoria this week has attracted high-profile speakers to debate its headline issue: “Assessing the risks of rhino horn trade”.
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Two suspected rhino poachers arrested in Limpopo

Two suspected rhino poachers arrested in Limpopo | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Gravelotte - Two suspected rhino poachers are expected to appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrate's Court on Monday, Limpopo police said.

 

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the men were arrested at 2.45am on Saturday morning in Gravelotte, east of the Limpopo.

 

“The police received information that there was suspected poaching on a farm in Gravelotte,” he said.

 

“We found a rifle with the serial number filed off and the men were also carrying an axe and a panga. Police also confiscated the vehicle they were using.”

 

He said the docket was handed over to organised crime who were profiling the men....

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NorCal Men Sold Black Rhino Horns: Feds

NorCal Men Sold Black Rhino Horns: Feds | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A grand jury has indicted two Bay Area with illegally selling endangered black rhinoceros horns at a Las Vegas hotel, which used to belong to an elderly man who wanted to get rid of them before moving...
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Poisoning rhino horns and other tactics step up as syndicates up $

Poisoning rhino horns and other tactics step up as syndicates up $ | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Plans to inject poison into the horns of rhino in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Wildlife Park are under way as a similar project in the Tembe Elephant Park last year has meant “not one” rhino has died since.

 

But poaching has increased in the rest of the province in the last two weeks as syndicates have upped the price for “shooters” from R80 000-a-hit to R200 000.

 

Poachers have killed 150 rhino in the Kruger National Park since January and 19 in KZN....

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Bad news... though not unexpected.

Rhino poachers move south and poaching on the rise as syndicates raise 'hit reward' from $8,000 to $20,000.

To counter this is $22 million Buffet donation to moneys.

 

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Sabine Anderson's curator insight, April 3, 8:41 AM

I really think we need to take all monies raised for our Rhinos and do this to every living Rhino!

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Man in court over dehorning live rhino

Man in court over dehorning live rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A Mozambican man accused of dehorning a white rhino while the animal was still alive appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Thursday.
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Convicted Drug Dealer Indicted for Selling Rhino Horns

Convicted Drug Dealer Indicted for Selling Rhino Horns | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

U.S. undercover investigation nets an alleged rhino horn trafficker with ties to former Medellín drug cartel....

 

"This is Lu," the email began. "I got the giraffe from you."

 

That email, say U.S. Justice Department officials, written to a confidential informant regarding a taxidermied giraffe, would initiate an effort earlier this year by Lumsden W. Quan (aka "Lu"), 46, of San Francisco and his boss, Edward N. Levine, 63, of Mill Valley, California, to sell two horns of the endangered black rhinoceros to a federal agent for $55,000. The attempted sale took place at a hotel in Las Vegas on March 19, 2014. Both men were arrested....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Rhino horn deal by former drug dealer? In Las Vegas?

If we were still wondering if its the same "bad guys" involved...

And if we in the US think this is only going down in Asia...

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Don't prioritise one over the other - save rhinos and children

Don't prioritise one over the other - save rhinos and children | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

When the Patriotic Alliance pointed out last week in my letter to President Jacob Zuma that more young boys, girls, men and women are being shot in coloured communities than the rhino, the response, predictably, from white readers was open outrage.

 

They shamelessly left messages in the comments sections of online papers openly affirming that the death of one rhino does, in fact, matter more than the deaths of 10 coloured youngsters.

 

And how dare I say that anything matters more than the conservation of the rhinos?...

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Again.... it is not either or.

Plus, at the root of both problems lies crime syndicates... so if corruption and the trafficking networks can be curbed... so will the rhino poaching and the gang violence wouldn't you think?

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Kenya: Anti-Poaching Unit Formed in Nakuru County

Kenya: Anti-Poaching Unit Formed in Nakuru County | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The Kenyan government has formed a special anti-poaching unit to stop the killing of rhinos in Nakuru County, where six rhinos have been killed since the beginning of 2014, Kenya's Daily Nation reported Wednesday (April 9th).

 

The team is comprised of officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and various branches of the police, said Nakuru County Commissioner Mohammed Birik.

 

"We want to deal ruthlessly with the poachers and that is why we have picked the best of our officers from each of the agencies," he said....

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Video: Rhino horn trade debate rages on

PRETORIA - Legalising the rhino horn trade would legitimise criminal activity, according to wildlife experts attending the Risk Assessment of Rhino Horn Trade conference in Pretoria.


The latest statistics show that more than 250 rhino have been poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year.

 

Experts say legalising the trade would be impossible to control, and could hasten the animal’s demise.

 

"Effectively what you're doing is legitimising the criminal acts and the criminals will be the same people who are the traders in illegal trade. So it seems, just because you're struggling to enforce a system and you feel that you can't, that to then make it legal," said Environmental Investigation Agency's Mary Rice. 

 

Rhino horn sells for hundreds of thousands of rand on the black market....


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South Africa: SA, Mozambique MOU to Help Address Wildlife Crimes

Pretoria — South African and Mozambique will next week sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, which will help in the fight against rhino poaching.

The MoU, which will be signed by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, and the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, Carvalho Muária, in Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, follows extensive negotiations, and less than a year since their last bilateral meeting...

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Let's hope it happens this time.

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SANParks staff in court for poaching

SANParks staff in court for poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Skukuza - Two South African National Parks employees arrested in connection with rhino poaching appeared in the White River Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

 

The matter was postponed to April 16 for further investigation, a Sapa correspondent reported.

 

Tshepo Mashale, 27, a water controller in the Kruger National Park, and Excellence Shabangu, 26, a tour guide, would remain in police custody...

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Rhino poaching on the rise in South Africa, with 277 killed this year

Rhino poaching on the rise in South Africa, with 277 killed this year | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Illegal hunting of the endangered animal is up a third, despite air and foot patrols, as poaching is fuelled by a demand for their horns in Asian countries.
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International Debate: Assessing The Risk Of Rhino Horn Trade

International Debate: Assessing The Risk Of Rhino Horn Trade | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Presented by OSCAP...

 

We are constantly informed about the reality of rhinoceros poaching cruelty in South Africa. Since the beginning of 2014 alone, about 172 rhinos have been poached with Kruger National Park being the most targeted.

 

The rhino horn which is made up of keratin, the same minerals and proteins found in our nails, is believed to possess pharmacological properties, is used as an aphrodisiac or is kept just for status. After all the trauma and pain of having their horns hacked and in most cases left to die bleeding, the rhino horns are sold illegally for about R536,119 per kilogram to be used for strange customs.

Suggested solution for the rhino extinction crisis:

Over the years conservationists have marched, hosted campaigns and educated the masses about the danger of rhino poaching that will automatically lead to the extinction of the world’s second largest mammal.

 

The South African Government’s solution for the rhino poaching crisis is to legalise and regulate rhino horn trade through CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) which has prohibited international rhino horn trade since 1997. The government hopes that by legalising trade and dehorning, less rhinos will be killed and the market value for rhino horns will decrease....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

The line up of speakers for this conference is fantastic.

Wish I could be there ... however, look forward to reading the reports.

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Sabine Anderson's curator insight, April 9, 4:32 AM

Wish I could be there and have my say!

Jim Ries's curator insight, April 9, 7:53 AM

Check out this article from Wildlife Margrit 

PeerSpring's curator insight, April 9, 12:12 PM

Over the years conservationists have marched, hosted campaigns and educated the masses about the danger of rhino poaching that will automatically lead to the extinction of the world’s second largest mammal.  Now the South African government is entertaining the thought of legalizing and regulating rhino horn trade, do you think that's a good idea? Why / why not?

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Extinction: Africa without rhinos would be different and poorer

Extinction: Africa without rhinos would be different and poorer | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
If rhinos are driven to extinction in the wild, Africa's landscapes and ecosystems would be very different, reports Rachel Nuwer. The activities of this mega-herbivore diversify plant life and create prime grazing spots for other animals.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

We stand to lose a great deal if we don't win the war against rhino poaching...


"Rhinos too are a 'keystone' species

African rhinos, it turns out, also seem to be a keystone species. According to a recent study published by Scandinavian and South African researchers in the Journal of Ecology, rhinos maintain the diverse African grasslands on which countless other species depend...." 

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Eye in the sky to stop KZN rhino poaching

Eye in the sky to stop KZN rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
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Sabine Anderson's curator insight, April 6, 6:11 AM

This is reall dedication! Thank You!

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Rhino poaching on the rise in Namibia

THE arrest of three Chinese men found in possession of rhino horns and the killing of two hand-reared white rhinos on a farm close to Windhoek - in a space of a week - has cast the spotlight on the increase in rhino poaching in Namibia. Marcia Fargnoli, the chief executive officer of the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) in Namibia, yesterday said there is little doubt rhino poaching is on the rise in the country. “Indeed, illegal hunting of rhinos in Namibia has increased in the past two years,” she said. She added that there “is no reason to believe that international criminal syndicates would target neighbouring countries but not Namibia. Namibia is certainly on the radar of these syndicates.” - See more at: http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=11388&page_type=story_detail&category_id=1#sthash.sUXB2wqf.dpuf
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How Rhino Poaching Is Funding Terrorism (And How You Can Help Stop It)

How Rhino Poaching Is Funding Terrorism (And How You Can Help Stop It) | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Something 50 million years in the making is on track to be wiped out in a matter of a few decades. The rhinoceros — essentially the world’s last dinosaur — is being relentlessly hunted and slaughtered for its horn.

 

Comprised of keratin, just like your hair and fingernails, rhino horn is worth double its weight in gold at latest estimates. The horn is being used for myriad ‘cures’ in traditional Asian medicine, from arthritis to cancer, despite being illegal and medically useless.

 

South Africa is home to the world’s largest remaining population of rhinos, but it is also where you’ll find the greatest amount of violence against the animals, with one being killed on average about every nine hours. The white rhino species is the most abundant at 20,000+ animals, but estimates put their tipping point — at which more animals are being killed than are being born in a given year — within the next year or two...

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

According to Gretchen Healey we can all do something to help stop the demand for rhino horn....

 

"How You Can Help

What’s the ethical traveler to do? First of all, go and see the rhinos. This may sound a bit clinical, but in countries where there is human wildlife conflict or where resources such as land and water are scarce, wildlife is only ‘valuable’ when it brings in some kind of revenue. Tourism is the best source for that revenue. Travelers can also choose to travel with an operator that either donates some of its revenues to reputable charities, or uses camps that promote conservation or research.

 

Next, stay abreast of what is happening with these animals, and consider regular charitable giving to an organization that supports research, protection and conservation....

 

Finally, and this is obvious, never ever purchase a product made from endangered species. If you aren’t sure what it’s made from, don’t buy it...."

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