A Private conservancy in Laikipia is concerned by increased rhino poaching in the county. Ol Pejeta Conservancy CEO Richard Vigne said the rising cases are due to the "increased demand for rhino horns as a result of the high market price that has surpassed that of gold".
The trial of Dawie Groenewald, a notorious South African game farmer and alleged “rhino horn syndicate kingpin”, was expected to begin today in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria. It has been nearly four years since various suspects linked to the so-called “Groenewald gang” were arrested in highly-publicised police raids. Instead the case was postponed for another year pending the outcome of a court challenge to the South African government’s moratorium on internal trade in rhino horn.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Postponed! Can't believe it!
Julian Rademeyer provides us with some inside information regarding who Dawie Groenewald really is... which really makes the justice system... well, you make your own judgement!
Eleven people, including veterinarians and professional hunters, appeared briefly in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday on various charges relating to rhino poaching, illegal hunting and racketeering.
DA MP says it is increasingly clear the rhino poaching crisis is running out of control
The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs, Jackson Mthembu, to request that a special inquiry be launched into the current Rhino poaching crisis.
Specifically, Parliament needs to be briefed by the Department - and its entities - on all their plans to protect this endangered animal and the reasons why we are losing the war against rhino poaching.
This follows reports today that South African National Parks's (SANParks) plan to remove over 500 rhinos from the Kruger National Park - and place them in ‘secret locations' - is mired in controversy.
The report has found that:
The relocation plan was suspended due to political infighting at SANParks;
It is alleged that all contracts and projects relating to former SANParks CEO, David Mabunda, and suspended Head of Conservation Services, Dr. Hector Magome, have been shelved or cancelled. This includes a three-year contract to risk mitigation and security services company, Pathfinder, to provide intelligence to the Kruger National Park on poachers and syndicates operating in the area;
That 250 of these 500 rhino have been sold to private buyers to fund the relocation of the remaining number. It is not clear why all 500 could be moved to safe locations, and why there isn't a budget to do this;
Lastly, questions remain as to who has benefited from the private sale of these rhino from the park and whether all funds are being used for its conservation.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the neither the Department nor SANParks have this crisis under control....
The conviction of a Biscayne Boulevard shop owner this month was the latest crackdown by a federal task force targeting illegal trafficking in a substance that costs more per ounce than cocaine, or even gold.
Black rhino horn.
The horns, prized in some Asian nations as popular but unproven folk remedies, are at the center of an international black market with a hub in South Florida. High prices and demand have triggered a poaching bloodbath in Africa that threatens the survival of black rhinos and fueled a growing illegal trade in old taxidermy mounts from museums or private collections.
It’s a criminal network run like sex, gun and drug trafficking and is often linked to the same players, said Edward Grace, assistant director for the U.S. Department of Justice’s division of Wildlife Law Enforcement, which oversees a multiagency investigative effort called “Operation Crash.” Crash is another name for a herd of rhino.....
Billions of Rands, highly trained special forces, bi-lateral agreements between nations, an together with international spotlight focused on anti-poaching efforts and still, nearly three rhino are poached a day. Why?
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
With all the money, highly trained people, agreements, and international spotlight.... why does the poaching continue?
A 28-YEAR-OLD Gweru man will spend nine years behind bars after he was arrested by police detectives with a fake rhino horn, which he intended to smuggle into South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post.
Alert detectives intercepted Berlin Chenje Mabika in the border town when he was about to sell the horn to a Zimbabwean man who is based in Musina, South Africa on Tuesday afternoon. -
An unborn rhino foetus removed from its dead and dehorned mother. In this poaching incident a wildlife ranger was also killed. It is not good enough for Vietnamese businessmen to try to disassociate themselves from this killing spree by saying “We don’t do the poaching, we only buy the horn”....
Two Mozambicans who killed and dehorned a white rhino were each handed 16-year sentences by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday.
Joseph Ephraim Bila and Ndombama Salvatore Nkuna were sentenced to 10 years for killing the rhino, four years for trespassing and carrying out a restricted activity in a restricted area, and six years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition....
A rhino poacher in South Africa has been sentenced to 77 years in prison in one of the heaviest penalties aimed at curbing poachers who target rhinos for their horns, which fetch a high price on the illegal market in parts of Asia. The sentencing of Mandla Chauke, a South African who was...
As the rhino poaching issue intensifies, the Kruger National Park plans a last-ditch effort to evacuate 500 rhino to secret locations in a desperate bid to save the species.....
However, the sudden departure of SANParks CEO David Mabunda and the suspension of Dr Hector Magoma, head of conservation services, has halted the rhino rescue plan in its tracks.
Mabunda was relieved of his duties five days before his contract came up for renewal – after 15 years.
This was reportedly followed by a slew of suspensions and cancelled contracts of senior managers and service providers. Among the suspensions was Magoma who was let go last month over allegations of benefitting through the sale and relocation of rhinos....
Five rhino poachers -- one left injured after a shoot-out -- have been arrested at the Phinda Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Sunday.
"[On Saturday] a joint operation by Durban Organised Crime Unit, Nyathi Anti-Poaching and [a] special task force were patrolling around Hluhluwe when they received information about a group of people who were suspected to be poaching at Phinda game reserve," Captain Thulani Zwane said in a statement...
The five men arrested -- all between the ages of 17 and 38 -- were found in possession of an unlicensed hunting rifle with three live rounds, a silencer and an axe....
Dawie Groenewald (right) and his wife are scheduled to appear in the North Gauteng High Court on July 21 2014. Together with eight other accused, they face 1 872 charges for alleged involvement in hundreds of rhino poaching incidents and dealing in rhino horn...
The Citizens of South Africa and the World are demanding the immediate intervention of the South African Defence Force to stop this direct terrorist attack on our Sovereign soil. The South African Government is allowing our wildlife to be wiped out by criminal syndicates (foreign and domestic terrorists) with military force, for the illegal trade of Rhino horn.
Speaking during the 50th Anniversary celebrations for Nature Conservation in Swaziland hosted by the Big Game Parks at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday, the king expressed concern at the growth of rhino and elephant dehorning in the continent stating the country is strongly against it.
He said he was mindful of the challenges that all those involved in conserving nature and wildlife face daily, but highlighted that the country is fully behind them.
“We have heard of rhinos and elephants poaching in other countries and we are strongly against it. It does not matter which country the wildlife that is threatened belongs to, but as long as it is in Africa it also belong to us as Swazis.
“The cutting off of rhino horns should not continue as it is a very bad habit. Poachers should desist from this act. If the dehorning of the rhinos continues then it would mean our future generation will not be cognisant of the fact that rhinos had horns after all,” he remarked....
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
We found that Swaziland's King really does punish wildlife poachers and really does stand behind the country's rangers so they can do their job.
NAIROBI, July 11 (Reuters) - Two armed gangs killed four rhinos for their horns in rural Kenya this week in possibly the worst rhino poaching incident in the country in more than 25 years, the spokesman for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Friday...
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Some 558 rhino have been killed in South Africa already this year, setting the country on course for a gruesome new record number of poaching deaths, wildlife officials said Thursday.
The first rhinos my wife Beverly and I saw certainly impressed me. Then again, who wouldn’t be impressed by a four-ton prehistoric animal coming at you, snorting and blowing snot like a dragon with...
No creature deserves what I recently saw on film.
She was a beautiful adult female white rhino, round in just the right places, with delicate folds of grey fat and flesh — not unattractive in rhino terms — except for one blemish: her face had been hacked off. She stepped out into the road, confused and afraid and in levels of pain I cannot even imagine.
Poachers had darted her with a drug called M99, just enough to put her down, but not enough to dull any pain, and then hacked off her horns....