What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
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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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Swaziland showing Africa how to save rhinos

Swaziland showing Africa how to save rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

If you’re concerned about the calamitous state of rhinos – and wildlife – in Africa, then consider what Ted Reilly has to say.


In 1960 Reilly turned the small family farm of Mlilwane near the capital Mbabane into a wildlife sanctuary, after the British colonial powers denied him land elsewhere to establish a national park. Mlilwane was then proclaimed in 1964 as the first formal conservation area in Swaziland. The ‘farm’ was then donated to a non-profit Trust to perpetuate it as a refuge for Swaziland’s beleaguered wild animals....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

We had a similar experience in Swaziland recently on our Africa Wildlife Tour.

Swaziland is doing some things right it seems.

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Geotagging proving fatal for endangered rhinos

Geotagging proving fatal for endangered rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

    Rhino populations in Africa -- especially the black rhino -- are still critically endangered despite ongoing conservation efforts and positive population growth in the past several decades. Rhino horn is still in demand across the world, with poachers going to extreme lengths to locate and track their next kill.

 

With the increasing regularity and integration of GPS technology into our everyday devices -- from cellphones to DSLRs -- comes a dramatic tradeoff to the well-being of African rhinos. The Sunday Times reported in a interview back in 2012 that rhino poachers have taken to social media feeds seeking out geotagged images that unwittingly relay the exact location of these elusive mammals. Marc Reading, a South African national park representative, explained that these poachers are even going so far as to send mock tourists into safari parks for the purpose of covertly conducting this 'geo reconnaissance.'...

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Please, Please PAY ATTENTION!

You might save a rhino or elephant!

 

If you're in Africa taking photos of rhino and elephants please make sure your geotagging feature is disabled on your camera, phone or video devise.... plus, never disclose which reserve or area you took the photo. 

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35 rhinos die from Blackquarter bacteria on mega rhino farm in South Africa

35 rhinos die from Blackquarter bacteria on mega rhino farm in South Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

South Africa’s largest rhino farmer and pro-trade protagonist, John Hume, experienced a major setback in the past two months on his farm Elandslaagte because of an outbreak of blackquarter among his 1000 rhinos, which killed 35 of them.

 

Terry Bengis, Hume's spokesman, said all the animals on the farm near Klerksdorp Elandslaagte now needs to be vaccinated against the bacteria (Clostridium novyi).

 

Dumisa Seshabela, spokesman for the North West Department of Economic Development, Environment and Conservation, said they have sent a warning about the outbreak in Elandslaagte to other ranchers in the area.

 

According to Bengis, there are between 20 and 25 variants of this bacterium. Scientists, including veterinarians from Onderstepoort, managed to isolate the bacteria and are now trying to develop a vaccine against the disease ....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Sad News! Although I remain anti rhino horn trade this loss of 35 rhino on John Hume's farm is not good.

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Large stockpile of rhino horns stolen over Easter weekend in South Africa

Thieves broke into a secure safe in Mpumalanga Province over the Easter weekend, stealing 112 rhino horns, with a total weight of 80,135 kilograms, the largest theft of this kind in years, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

 

The pieces stolen were kept in storage for purposes of registering them, record keeping and later move them to another secure location where a bulk of stock is kept,the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) said.

 

Some of the horns on the MTPA premises were micro-chipped, DNA- sampled and photographed according to the National Norms and Standards dated April 10, 2012 No 53248, while others were still being processed, MTPA spokeswoman Kholofelo Nkambule said.

 

The burglars gained access to the storage through an office window. They then cut open a strong room in this office before entering the storage, according to Nkambule....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Now that's a real haul!

112 rhino horn weighing over 80 kilo stolen from a vault.

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Saving Rhinos Through Dance and Love

Saving Rhinos Through Dance and Love | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Rising above controversial opinions and the rhino horn trade argument Sheila Bath Upton changes hearts and makes a difference for African wildlife.
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Jim Ries's curator insight, April 25, 2014 8:20 AM

Thanks Margrit for sharing this great story and thanks also to Sheila and her team for all they do to save rhinos.

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Rhino horns worth millions stolen from state tourism safe

Rhino horns worth millions stolen from state tourism safe | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The horns -- which are highly prized in some forms traditional medicine -- were taken from the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) at the weekend, the Lowvelder newspaper reported.

 

"The culprit, or culprits, cut open two steel safes fitted with double locks," a source from the agency said.

 

Dex Kotze, conservationist and CEO of South African jeweller Jenna Clifford, which backs a campaign against rhino poaching, said the haul could be worth as much as $16 million (12 million euros).

Neither the MTPA nor the police could be reached on Monday, a public holiday in South Africa...

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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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Two suspected poachers killed in KZN

Two suspected poachers killed in KZN | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Two suspected rhino poachers have been shot dead at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal police confirmed on Tuesday.

The incident took place on Monday.

 

It’s believed the pair shot at anti-poaching staff who tried to stop them to inspect their vehicle.

 

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane says they retrieved an unlicensed firearm as well as a rhino horn.

 

Last year, a suspected poacher was shot dead and five more arrested in the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

 

Latest statistics show three rhino are poached in South Africa every day....

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Melbourne woman takes up fight to stop rhino horn smuggling

Melbourne woman takes up fight to stop rhino horn smuggling | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Businesswoman raises funds to place warning ads in Vietnamese magazines and newspapers...

 

Lynn Johnson, who has no background in wildlife conservation, has raised $20,000 to place the ads in prominent Vietnamese magazines and newspapers.

 

The ads depart from standard conservation strategy by not playing to people’s empathy for endangered species. Instead, they warn Vietnamese that they may risk scuppering a business deal, or even harm their children, by giving them tainted rhino horn....

 

"The use of rhino horn in Vietnam is more symbolic than for medical purposes,” she told Guardian Australia. “It’s given either as a gift to negotiate business deals or to show that you have a high status in the community.

 

“People aren’t worried about the cost of it and they don’t have an affinity for the plight of the rhinos. But we found out they would be worried if the rhino horn had a harmful effect to those they gave it to.”

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Maybe Lynn Johnson is on to something?

Placing ads in Vietnamese Newspapers to warn consumers that rhino horn may be poisoned and harmful.

 

If you know more about if and how this is working please comment.

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Recent Study: Why SA needs rhino tourism

Recent Study: Why SA needs rhino tourism | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Pretoria - The popularity of rhinos as a tourist attraction is on the increase making their value in the tourism industry even greater, says Professor Melville Saayman.

 

A director of Trees (Tourism Research, Economics, Environment and Society) at North-West University, Saayman expressed his opinion after a study he and his team completed at Kruger National Park to determine whether tourists’ desire to see rhinos, in relation to other animals that make the Big Five had changed over the past three years...

 

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Value of rhino tourism supposedly increased by R72.8 million! That's $68,541,000.


“In a similar study in 2011.26.6 percent of respondents said they were willing to pay to see rhinos. This increased to 36.9 percent in 2013. The non-consumptive value of rhino for Kruger National Park has increased from R39.5-million to R112.4m."

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The Horror of Surviving a Rhino Poaching (Page 1 of 4)

...Then, just when I think I am getting used to the images, the videos start flowing.

 

In one, an animal, barely recognisable as a rhino because its head is just a bloody pulp, moves and tries to get up. I cover my face, then turn to watch, tears streaming down my face. The pain I feel in every cell of my body can not be a fraction of what this once beautiful animal was experiencing.

 

I look around the room of 50 or so participants, rhino owners, conservationists, scientists, veterinarians, hunters. Every face is a mask of horror and despair.

 

The rhino without a face tries to walk.His front left leg is broken and he stumbles and snorts in pain, it is a high pitched squeak that sends bubbles of blood out of the hole that was his horn....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

My stomach lurched and my heart hurt as I read this account of a brutalized rhino in horrendous pain struggling to stand... then fall.

Many thanks to the vets who try valiantly to heal them. 

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RHINO FRIDAY: The Good and the Bad

RHINO FRIDAY: The Good and the Bad | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

RHINO FRIDAY via Ayesha Cantor

 

293 rhino poached in SA

 

Its been another brutal week for rhino, and I guess by extension it’s been a brutal week for those who physically work towards ‘saving rhino’ too.

Along the way, for every snippet of seemingly good news, there is a ton of bad news on its heels.

It feels like one step forward and then ten steps back….

 

Namibia recently arrested Chinese Nationals in possession of rhino horn.

But at the same time, they have had two poaching incidents in as many weeks.

http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=12027&page_type=story_detail&category_id=1

 

The much asked for MOU between SA and Mozambique is finally signed, but then…is it worth the paper it’s written on….?

Dear Mozambique,
Please stop poaching our rhino. At least leave us a few. We’re not sure we necessarily want to SAVE them. But we do want to turn as much profit as we possibly can by enacting a legal trade.  Once this happens, feel free to BUY as much horn as you’d like.

Your friends in SA

http://fightforrhinos.com/2014/04/20/what-is-the-mou-and-does-it-matter/

 

112 pieces of rhino horn worth an estimated R160m have been stolen from the safe of a tourism organisation in Mpumalanga,

http://www.news24.com/Green/News/Rhino-horns-worth-millions-stolen-from-safe-20140421

 

Two young men arrested for having the intention to poach - Tzaneen…. Don’t think for one minute that you know who is poaching our rhino -  former and current protectors turn killers, utterly shameful !

http://ewn.co.za/2014/04/21/Two-poachers-nabbed-in-Limpopo

 

And is if all the above is not bad news enough - THIRTY FIVE  rhino die from disease on a private rhino farmers property.

John Hume has lost 35 rhinos due to disease in the last 2 months. All his remaining rhinos (about 1000) will now need to be inoculated against the Clostridium novyi bacteria. At present there is no innoculation for the particular strain of bateria.
Some ecologists maintain the high rainfall in the area and the unnatural environment the rhinos are in has facilitated the development of the bacteria. The high numbers of rhinos increases the risk and it may be posible that the carrying capacity of the present environment has been exceeded.
Local farmers have been put on alert and the carcasses of the dead rhinos were burned to prevent contamination of the rhino herd.
http://www.beeld.com/nuus/2014-04-23-sponssiekte-eis-35-van-grootste-sa-boer-se-1000-renosters

 

Then I read this on OSCAP

 

Message in from resident in Hong Kong regarding demand reduction campaigns:

"They are passing out prison terms to anyone found with a whole series of animals...bears ,tigers ,pangolin,monkeys,dogs. 420 species in all..it's serious .
I am also seeing ads on Chinese TV shaming buyers of Ivory,turtle shells etc.
I think the tide has turned on all the practices that we deem barbaric..the west has essentially shamed the Asians..it's the loss of face for the older people and the g...eneral disgust of the younger Asians that is winning the war.
And it's all happening at flank speed."

China are working hard to reduce demand of rhino horn (amongst other things) and changing legislation to make it harder for those who participate in these illegal activities which includes stiffer sentences as mentioned above.

 

WHEN THE BUYING STOPS – THE KILLING CAN TOO !

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- A draft interpretation of China's Criminal Law, aims to clear up ambiguities by clearly defining eating endangered wild animals, or buying them for this or other purposes, as illegal.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=213849

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Every week Ayesha Cantor posts an update about the rhinos' status and latest news.

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Namibia: Poachers kill Black Rhino

POACHERS ruthlessly gunned down a black rhino last week Tuesday in Namibia's northwest region.

 

The rhino carcass was discovered in the Palmwag concession, renowned as home to the largest free roaming population of black rhinos globally.

It was reported that the sub-adult male was died after at least five bullets struck his body.

 

Due to the location of the bullets, on both sides of its body, it is suspected that more than one person might have been involved in the shooting....

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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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