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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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Rhino Crisis: Death Toll Soars to 373 in South Africa

Rhino Crisis: Death Toll Soars to 373 in South Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
At least 373 rhinos have been killed for their horns in South Africa during the first eight months of 2012, according to the country's Department of Environmental Affairs.

Of the total, 229 were massacred in the famed Kruger National Park.
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Are investors driving the illegal wildlife trade?

Are investors driving the illegal wildlife trade? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

A new survey of the illegal trade in wildlife across Asia has contradicted some commonly held beliefs. The survey was conducted by a consortium of wildlife and conservation NGO’s and media companies in preparation for a marketing campaign to reduce the trade.

 

The belief that the trade in endangered species is being kept alive by older tradionalist in Asia seems to be incorrect as the survey discovered that the younger generation is driving the increasing trade.

 

The most prolific purchasers of animal products are wealthy urban males aged between 25 and 45. These young men are not buying rhino horn, for example, as cures for cancer or fertility boosts but as status sysmbols and investments.

 

In China, for instance, it’s not the rural traditional heads of families that purchase endangered animals and parts for use in traditional or cultural practices. The most prolific purchasers of animal products are wealthy urban males aged between 25 and 45. These young men are not buying rhino horn, for example, as cures for cancer or fertility boosts but as status sysmbols and investments.

Consumer profiles collected during the survey across 15 Asian countries indicated that the quest for prestige and higher status is driving much of the current slaughter of elephants, tigers, pangolins, bears, and rhinos. Government interest in the issue in most countries remains very low, outside small and under-funded environmental agencies

The survey was released as a working party from the coalition met in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Non-governmental organizations from China, Vietnam, Thailand, and India gathered there with advertising and media specialists to share survey information relating to illegal consumption of rare and endangered species, such as tigers, elephants, rhinos, pangolins, and bears.

 

The coalition agreed to coordinate educational efforts based on their shared surveys, with joint campaigns being designed in several countries. The Governments of Vietnam, China, Thailand and the USA are currently being courted as partners, while business leaders, celebrities and other opinion leaders who sincerely care about the issue are also being actively recruited.

Participating in the regional “Working Group on Demand Reduction” were: Education Nature for Vietnam (ENV), Conservation International-China, IFAW-China, WildAid-China, FREELAND-Thailand and India, Wildlife Alliance-Cambodia, JWT Advertising Firm, and AsiaWorks Television. Each organization brings certain strengths to the coalition, including connections to governments, celebrities, and marketing capacity.

 

The Working Group gathering was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development “ARREST” Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), which is coordinated by FREELAND.

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Customs seizes smuggled rhino horns

Customs seizes smuggled rhino horns | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Customs authorities in the Philippines seized a shipment of six rhinoceros horns Friday, authorities said, adding to growing concerns over the country's ports being used for illegal wildlife trafficking.
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Personal Blog: Yao's Journey to Africa

Personal Blog: Yao's Journey to Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

From my trip it’s clear that South Africans feel the same way about their rhinos as we Chinese do about our Pandas. They are a source of inspiration and great national pride as we brought them back from what looked like inevitable extinction.

 

For South Africa, it’s also an important source of tourism revenue, which is now under threat.

 

Unfortunately, a very small number of people in Asia are still buying rhino horn, either as speculation or for what they may believe is a medicine or a tonic. The horns are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up our hair and fingernails.

 

Legitimate traditional medicine in China ended rhino horn use in 1993...

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Rhino crisis: SA, Vietnam to sign agreement

Rhino crisis: SA, Vietnam to sign agreement | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Cape Town - South Africa and Vietnam will sign a long-awaited agreement on biodiversity issues – including measures to reduce rhino poaching – during an international meeting in Hyderabad, India, next month.

 

Vietnam has been named the biggest driver of the rhino poaching epidemic and SA government officials have met their Vietnamese counterparts “numerous” times to compile the agreement.

 

Last August, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the need to co-operate with Vietnam and Mozambique was a priority for countering poaching.

 

This week, her department announced that a “memorandum of understanding on co-operation in the field of biodiversity conservation and protection”, which included law enforcement issues and compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and other relevant legislation, would be signed at a Convention on Biological Diversity meeting that starts in India on October 8.

 

The announcement of the signing comes as rhino poaching continues unabated, with the latest statistics showing at least 373 animals have been killed since the beginning of this year; 229 of them in the Kruger National Park.

 

According to pressure group Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching, there are rumours that more rhinos not included in these figures might also have been poached.

 

The total number of arrests for rhino poaching this year is 199. - Cape Argus

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Rhino poaching case against former police postponed:Wednesday 5 September 2012

A rhino poaching case against former police officer, Joseph Nyalunga and his co-accused has been postponed by the Middelburg Magistrate's court in Mpumalanga.

 

Previous cases linked to Nyalunga and his co-accused have now been combined with the rhino poaching charges. The case now includes house breaking, robbery and dealing with rhino horns. Nyalunga and other seven men were arrested in Mkhuhlu and Hazyview earlier this year.

 

He was earlier arrested at the Middelburg Toll Plaza with other two suspects where they were allegedly found in possession of millions of rands.

 

During their arrest Nyalunga was found in possession of R60 000 cash and four rhino horns

 

All cases against Joseph Nyalunga have now been combined. He is now appearing with all his co-accused in both cases facing one case of racketeering.

 

During their arrest, Nyalunga was found in possession of R60 000 cash and four rhino horns. More than R5 million was then also discovered in one of his houses including automated money counter. During his arrest he was out on bail in the case of being found in possession of millions of rand in December last year. He was with other two suspects, one of them a woman from Vietnam.

 

Six of the suspects are from Mozambique: Daniel Mncuso, David Sigangue, Calisto Massoda, Zeka Santos, Checo Cossa, Sam Mashaba and Condrad Nkuna and one woman from Vietnam, Anh Nguyen. Their case has been postponed to October 10.

 

Three suspects are out on bail while others are kept in custody. 

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RHINO: Hanging by a thread - WWF

RHINO: Hanging by a thread - WWF | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
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Wonderful People Wednesday – Jess makes it happen for rhino | Nikela

Wonderful People Wednesday – Jess makes it happen for rhino | Nikela | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Nikela Volunteer Jessica Immelman visits Shannon’s Raptor Center, Bearded Vulture, World Rhino Day video “The Rhino’s Song” with Alex Rodel, Warren Freimond.

 

Jessica Immelman, heart, passion, skill and focus is what she brings to the cause to protect African endangered and threatened wildlife, in particular the rhino.

 

Read her story...

http://www.nikela.org/blog/wonderful-people-wednesday-jess-makes-it-happen-for-rhino  ;

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TRAFFIC - Everything lining up to create the “perfect storm” for rhino poaching

TRAFFIC - Everything lining up to create the “perfect storm” for rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Johannesburg, South Africa, 21st August 2012—A comprehensive new report into the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa documents how poor compliance over rhino horn stockpile management, loopholes in sport hunting policy, and surging demand for horn in Viet Nam created ideal conditions for the involvement of sophisticated criminal networks, leading to a dramatic escalation in poaching in southern Africa.

According to the 176-page study, The South Africa—Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus: A deadly combination of institutional lapses, corrupt wildlife industry professionals and Asian crime syndicates, as early as 2003, visitors from Viet Nam were regularly taking part in “pseudo hunts” for White Rhino trophies in South Africa, interested not in the hunt itself but only in the horn; some of those participating in the hunting reportedly did not even know how to shoot a gun....

 

Read more:

http://www.traffic.org/home/2012/8/21/loose-horns-surging-demand-and-easy-money-create-perfect-sto.html ;

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Wildlife: Poachers killed, rhino saved, whales mystery

STIFFER PENALTIES RELATED TO WILDLIFE CRIME HAVE BEEN INCORPORATED UNDER THE PROPOSED WILDLIFE LAW TO
DETER POACHING- RELATED CASES AND INCIDENTS IN KENYA

 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Suspected poachers have shot dead one wildlife ranger in anti-poaching operation in Trans Nzoia county of Western Kenya as authorities stepped up anti-poaching measures across the country, officials said on Wednesday....

 

JOHANNESBURG (Xinhua) -- Three rhino poaching suspects were killed and several others were arrested in operations in the Kruger National Park (KNP) this week, authorities said on Wednesday....

 

TAKORADI, Ghana (Xinhua) -- Following the mysterious death of whales and other marine species close to Ghana’s Oilfields, Civil Society Coalition on Fisheries Agenda (CSCFA) accused the Jubilee Partners, operators of the Jubilee Oilfields here over the weekend for operating without a Fisheries Impact Assessment (FIA)....

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Unless we Can Stop the Ivory Hunt, Say Goodbye to Rhinos

Unless we Can Stop the Ivory Hunt, Say Goodbye to Rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The rhino has been around for 50-million years. It has only taken the past 40 years to eradicate 90 per cent of them.

 

They come in the dead of the night, rappelling down from helicopters, armed with night-vision goggles and chain saws. They act quickly and ruthlessly. The target? Killing an elephant or rhino in order to score an ivory tusk or horn.

 

It's hard to believe an elephant tusk or rhino's horn can fetch as much as $1-million USD on the black market. They are the plum treasures in the $10-billion annual trade in illegal wildlife products.

 

Rhinos are big lumbering creatures, coloured a peculiar shade of sandy red (they typically turn the colour of the soil they eat). Although they can weigh up to several thousand pounds, poachers are only interested in that single horn. And despite their size, rhinos are gentle grazers, helping to keep the African savannah healthy....

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mariah-griffinangus/ivory-hunt-rhinos_b_1841911.html ;

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Making a Difference from a Distance for Rhino

Making a Difference from a Distance for Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Expat life – certainly the early part of it – can have what you might call a centripetal focus (remember physics class?)


That is, the center of your life is taking care of yourself, making adjustments, learning a new life, culture, language etc. You become the center of your world. Everything focuses around what you need to do and be for survival....


Life is sometimes stranger than fiction:  it is in giving that we receive said St. Francis of Assisi in his famous prayer....

 

According to the World Wildlife Fund there are about 16,000 rhino left in Africa with 93% of them calling South Africa their home.

 

In 2008, 83 rhino were killed in South Africa by poachers, a huge jump from 13 in 2007. In 2009 122 were lost, 333 in 2010, an alarming 445 in 2011, with the projection of over 500 by the end of 2012!

 

At this rate it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that the African rhino are headed for extinction.

 

However, all is not lost as many have picked up the gauntlet and are getting involved to stop the poaching on the ground and the demand in Asia.

 

September 22nd marks the third annual World Rhino Day with the entire month being dedicated to spreading awareness.


http://expateverydaysupportcenter.com/making-a-difference-from-a-distance/ ;

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WildAid - Izzy The Rhino

WildAid - Izzy The Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

In August 2011, The Guardian reported that yet another rhino had been found killed in South Africa. With a reported 448 rhinos poached in South Africa in 2011, this story was tragic but certainly not an anomaly. But for the first time, the rhino had a name -- Izzy -- and a story. With the help of illustrator Steven Womack, we are proud to share the story of Izzy the Rhino with you.


Though this story reads like a fable, parental discretion is advised.

 

visit WildAid

http://www.WildAid.org 

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Two jailed for rhino head theft

Two jailed for rhino head theft | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Two men are jailed after admitting stealing a rhinoceros head from a Surrey museum.

 

Jamie Channon, 34, of Melba Gardens and Tony Moore, 30, of Ottowa Road, both in Tilbury, Essex pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

 

The pair were identified after the theft from Haslemere Educational Museum in May 2011 featured on BBC1's Crimewatch last September.

 

Channon was jailed for three years and Moore for two at Guildford Crown Court.

 

The men forced an entry into the museum, setting the alarms off, in the burglary in May 2011...

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Sleuthing for endangered black rhinos

Sleuthing for endangered black rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Cape Town - Black rhinos once ranged as far north as Sudan and as far south as Cape Agulhas. According to Clive Walker in his excellent book The Rhino Keepers, at the turn of the 19th century there “were probably several hundred thousand living throughout their range”.

 

But then colonial hunters arrived and shot most of them. More recently, increasing demand for rhino horn as traditional medicine in China and Vietnam has wrought tragedy on rhino species everywhere.

 

Today, there are fewer than 5 000 black rhinos in the African wild. More than 95 percent of these are conserved in just four African countries: SA, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. One of their last strongholds is in the dense thickets of the Eastern Cape interior (precise location deliberately undisclosed)....

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London wine tasting raises money for World Rhino Day

London wine tasting raises money for World Rhino Day | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Join Save the Rhino at the Rhino Wine Tasting in London on Saturday 22 September.
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VIDEO/PHOTOS: Yao Ming's wild, heartbreaking African adventure

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Yao Ming's wild, heartbreaking African adventure | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Former NBA star is working with WildAid to shed light on the poaching crisis impacting elephant and rhino populations.
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Under Secretary Hormats on U.S. Efforts to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Robert D. Hormats discusses the U.S.
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Hookers, Vietnamese gangsters blamed for boom in poached rhino

Conservationists place the blame for the spike in rhino poaching squarely at the feet of Vietnamese gangsters.

 

TAIPEI, Taiwan, and HANOI, Vietnam — What's a Vietnamese gangster to do when the last indigenous rhino has been shot?

 

With no more product to fuel a lucrative rhino-horn market — driven by cash-rich partygoers, who mix it with booze, and terminal cancer patients banking on a miracle cure — they'd have to venture further afield.

 

First stop, according to UK-based wildlife monitor TRAFFIC, is South Africa, where they'd encounter rhinos on state-licensed safaris.

 

When South African authorities became suspicious of a surge in Vietnamese ‘pseudo-hunters,’ gangsters changed gears by sending other Asian nationalities — including Thai hookers — to get the job done.

 

“When regulations limited the number of hunters, one of the gangs started using sex workers for additional names to put on permits.

 

But of course they didn’t know how to shoot, so there were cases when the professionals taking them out would actually do the shooting for them,” TRAFFIC spokesman Richard Thomas told GlobalPost....

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184 aasvoëls vrek by net 1 vergiftigte dier

184 aasvoëls vrek by net 1 vergiftigte dier | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Wildstropers in Zimbabwe het minstens 184 aasvoëls op een slag vergiftig in ’n poging om hul spoor te verbloem.

 

Poachers resorting to poisoning vultures so they don't lead rangers and others to dead carcasses of rhino and elephant!

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KNP and traditional healers partner to fight poaching

KNP and traditional healers partner to fight poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Kruger National Park (KNP) has joined hands with traditional health practitioners in an attempt to fight the escalating rhino poaching pandemic.
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WORLD RHINO MONTH - We can Succeed if...

WORLD RHINO MONTH - We can Succeed if... | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

We can SUCCEED if:

 

We CARE more than is wise,

RISK more than is Safe,

HOPE more than is practical,

And

EXPECT the impossible!

 

Celebrate World Rhino Day all month long

http://www.nikela.org/rhino/september-2012-is-world-rhino-month ;

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Rhino Queem's comment, September 13, 2012 11:16 AM
Great message and graphic, Margrit!
Wildlife Margrit's comment, September 13, 2012 5:26 PM
Why thanks Rhino Queem
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2 Jailed for 29 Years each for rhino poaching

Two men have been jailed for 29 years each for rhino poaching by the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court.

 

Gearson Cosa, 35, and Ali Nkuna, 25, were sentenced for trespassing, being in possession of hunting rifles and ammunition, and poaching a rhino and its calf....

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PHOTOS: Farming rhinos and legalising sale of their horns worth more than gold 'will save them from extinction', claims farmer

PHOTOS: Farming rhinos and legalising sale of their horns worth more than gold 'will save them from extinction', claims farmer | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Rhino breeder John Hume keeps nearly 800 of the almost extinct beasts on his cattle-style ranches in South Africa and has a multimillion pound stockpile of their horns.

 

See PHOTOS  by Ann and Steve Toon, plus the story of their visit to the Hume Rhino Ranch.

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2195803/Farming-rhinos-legalising-sale-horns-worth-gold-save-extinction-claims-farmer.html?ito=feeds-newsxml 

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Vietnam Rebutal: We're too poor to fuel rhino horn craze

Vietnam Rebutal: We're too poor to fuel rhino horn craze | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
As my Johannesburg-based colleague Erin Conway-Smith write this week, wildlife watchdogs believe Vietnam's high society is driving demand for rhino horn and thus helping drive African rhinos towards extinction.

 

As Erin explains, buyers believe "drinking a tonic made from the horn will detoxify the body after a night of heavy boozing, and prevent a hangover. One Vietnamese news website described rhino horn wine as 'the alcoholic drink of millionaires.'"

 

Apparently, it's also thought to alleviate cancer. Science disagrees.

The source of these allegations is TRAFFIC, a high-profile organization devoted to stopping the endangered animals trade. Their recent report on the phenomenon, and all the bad press it's generating, has prompted a rebuttal from a Vietnamese official, Do Quang Tung, who is deputy director of the country's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora authority.

 

The Asia News Network has his response. According to Do:

1. Vietnam is too poor to sustain a huge market for pricey rhino horn. This Associated Press report documenting Vietnam's luxury market boom suggest otherwise.

2. The rhino horn flowing into Vietnam is only in "transit" to other countries.

 

This premise is easier to defend. Ivory, another luxury product coveted by some wealthy Chinese, has also stoked a similar underground Africa-to-Asia trade route that pass goods en route to China through Southeast Asia (I described this in detail in my piece "Time to Ban Ivory for Good?") China is Asia's largest consumer of illegal wildlife products by a landslide.

 

Regardless, Do insists that "Vietnam could not be the main market for South African rhino horn. Not even close".

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