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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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Travel consultants shed clothes to support the rhinos

Travel consultants shed clothes to support the rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
We're not yet half way through 2012 and already almost 150 rhino carcasses have been discovered in South Africa.

 

Whilst joining a Facebook group, and expressing our support for anti-poaching efforts and our horror at the carnage in our Parks is a good way to raise awareness, it somehow just doesn't seem to be enough. There surely must be more that each of us can do?

 

Raising funds to help the fight against poaching
Raising funds to support and better equip the men and women on the frontline seems to be a good place to start, and a group of concerned employees at the Jenman African Safaris head office in Cape Town, have hit upon a novel way to do just that. The Jenman ladies have decided to shed their clothes (and their inhibitions) and produce a photographic calendar to raise funds for rhino conservation.

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Little girl's plea over rhinos prompts president to reply - Times LIVE

Little girl's plea over rhinos prompts president to reply - Times LIVE | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The letter by a seven-year-old girl, appealing to President Jacob Zuma to "save our rhinos", has touched the heart of South Africa' s first citizen....

 

Addressed to Ms Afeefah Patel, the president wrote: "Thank you very much for your touching letter on the plight of the rhinos, which was published in The Times newspaper on April 16 2012.

 

"I am happy that at such a young age you have an interest in your environment and want to play a role in its protection.

 

"I want you to know that our government has been as highly concerned at the staggering numbers of rhinos that have been killed....

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South Africa Rhino Poaching Targeted By Tightened Hunting Rules

South Africa Rhino Poaching Targeted By Tightened Hunting Rules | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa says it is tightening hunting rules to try to combat illegal rhinoceros horn trading.
An environmental affairs ministry statement issued Monday said hunters applying for licenses must provide proof of hunting experience, such as membership in a hunting association, and a passport.

The new rules also require South African authorities to consider whether the countries in which foreign applicants live have sufficient laws against illegal rhino horn trading.

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WCO launches second major project to combat illicit wildlife trade and corruption-related wildlife crime

The World Customs Organization (WCO) launches its second major project to combat illicit wildlife trade with a strong focus on integrity-related issues, as global conservation efforts to protect the environment are increasingly being undermined by illegal trafficking and corruption, opening the doors to unacceptable behaviour that defies all laws and boundaries....

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Desperate measures to quell rhino crisis - hunting, dehorning and more - UPI.com

In late February, four South Africa National Parks officials were arrested for involvement in rhino poaching. Only a few days later, dehorned rhinos in a private reserve were butchered for just a stub of horn.

 

It's a growing problem in the region, as east Asian consumer demand for horn grows -- to treat headaches, rheumatism and other conditions -- and poachers grow more brazen in their attacks.

 

A few private reserves and rhino conservation groups have tried dehorning rhinos, poisoning horns and embedding tracking technologies, but these methods have not been as effective as expected.

 

“Tracking devices are of limited value," said Wilhelm Schack, a wildlife veterinarian and ecologist from Eko Wild. "In the guerrilla-type warfare of the poaching world ... poachers have long killed the animal and disappeared with the horns by the time you have tracked down the animal with your high-tech equipment."

 

A new method is needed, said John Hume, owner of one of the world's largest private rhino herd.

“We have failed to halt poaching with moratoriums, trade bans, punitive legislation, eastern educational campaigns, increased anti-poaching methods and whatever else we have been doing," he said.

 

There's one unlikely option left: Legalizing the horn trade.

 

Despite the ban on the horn trade, trophy hunting is allowed in South Africa. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species limits the hunt to five black male rhinos a year in South Africa.....

 

“Advocates of legalizing the horn trade are usually the ones with large numbers of rhinos who want to be able to sell their product, so there is an element of business or greed involved," said Jacques Flamand, project lead of the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. "But they do also want to see a stop to the black market sale of horn."

 

But even if done legally, frequent dehorning can cause problems, said Carol Harnwell, who is involved with the group Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching. Dehorning leaves mothers unable to defend their calves, and makes it difficult for rhinos to forage for food, she said....

 

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South Africa: The Wailers Play in Cape Town to Support the Rhino

Reggae stars The Wailers will take time out from their world tour to play the Stand Up! concert on Friday, 27 April, 2012, at Trinity nightclub, Cape Town, to help save endangered rhinos. They will be supported by The Rudimentals, Fox Comet, Mix n Blend, and Dino Psaras.

 

The concert is the brainchild of Damien Vergnaud, owner of Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge and founder of RhinoProtect, the organisation that Stand Up! will support. RhinoProtect was born out of desperation...

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SA offer Rhino in exchange for...

SA offer Rhino in exchange for... | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
JOHANNESBURG. The sports ministry has defended its decision to equip South Africa’s Olympic team with Chinese-made kit, saying that Beijing offered the kit for free in return for giving Chinese hunters first dibs on poaching the team mascot, a rhino named Chukuru. “It’s a win-win,” said a spokesman. “Well, except for Chukuru. He’s going to get wasted.”
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Lyn du Plessis's comment, April 11, 2012 4:31 AM
Is this true?
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Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching unveils new website

Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching unveils new website | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

This powerful Facebook group now has their own website take a look.

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Arrested: Irish rhino smugglers had fake €120k

Arrested: Irish rhino smugglers had fake €120k | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
TWO members of a notorious international rhino-horn smuggling gang have been arrested in Switzerland in possession of €120,000 in fake notes.
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Letter to Plead for Our Rhino

LETTER SENT FROM RHINO SOS TODAY:

 

Dear Minister Molewa; Adv. De Lange; Gareth Morgan; Mr. S. Huang; SA Delegate to COP / CITES and others,

 

RHINO POACHING CRISIS – URGENT INFORMATION REGARDING RE-CLASSIFICATION OF CERATOTHERIUM SIMUM SIMUM
...
I had the privilege of presenting at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee hearings on the 26th January 2012. Since then I have been active in various Anti-poaching groups, and have gathered further information.

 

On behalf of the citizens of South Africa, kindly URGENTLY forward the following information to the Rhinoceros Working Group at CITES (headed by the UK & N. Ireland). The deadline for the Rhinoceros Working Group to receive information from the PARTIES to assist in fulfilling its mandate is the 15th April 2012.

 

The White Rhinoceros of South Africa (Ceratotherium simum simum) must be reclassified onto Appendix I from whence it was moved in 1995.

 

The reasons are as follows:


1. The poaching of rhino in South Africa has become uncontrollable. This fact has been confirmed by staff of the Kruger National Park and despite firm steps from Government to resolve the matter we have not been successful in stopping or even reducing the amount of rhinos killed or maimed on a daily basis. To date 162 rhinos have been poached in South Africa this year, mutilated in the most barbaric manner.

 

2. It is predicted that our dwindling numbers of rhinoceros will not withstand the onslaught and will soon be facing extinction (yet again).

 

Many experts in Conservation are of the same belief and I quote Dr Ian Player in a speech he made in March 2012:

 

“LET ME END BY SAYING HOW DESPERATELY WE ARE CONCERNED with the escalating rhino poaching that is sweeping across the land. And let us never forget that it is because of the white rhino that our Parks on this continent were created. The horrors of maimed and wounded rhino are experienced almost every day. The poor inoffensive white rhino is the main target and they act as a buffer to the killing of the black rhino.”

 

If the White Rhinoceros re-classified onto CITES Appendix I, it will:

 

a) immediately send a powerful message to all persons considering rhino horn trade and/or the desirability of rhino horn as an investment commodity.


b) enable customs and police.

 

I am hopeful that The Rhinoceros Working Group will consider my proposal to IMMEDIATELY move the species to APPENDIX 1. I am available to them for any further information they may need.

 

Yours sincerely,
Margot Stewart
RHINO S.O.S. South Africa
Durban

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Animal Planet goes wild with new season of shows

Animal Planet goes wild with new season of shows | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
NEW YORK -- Animal Planet has a menagerie of new shows for the season ahead that promise real-life drama, monstrous mystery, unusual human creatures and a new breed of cute....

Building on its hit “Whale Wars,” the network plans to introduce “Rhino Wars,” which follows a team of former U.S. Special Forces as they hunt down gangs of rhino poachers in South Africa whose greed threatens to reduce to near extinction the rhino population....
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allAfrica.com: Kenya: Strategy to Save Rhino Unveiled

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Strategy to Save Rhino Unveiled | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Representatives of the conservation community from across Africa have announced a comprehensive response to combat the continent's alarming rhino poaching crisis....

Participants at the summit agreed that, to effectively address the crisis, the African conservation community needed to target efforts along four tiers, with specific actionable items that can be addressed within the next six to nine months. These include assisting surveillance and anti poaching units, strengthening law enforcement, using campaigns to curb the demand in rhino horn and reaching out to policy makers. Kipng'etich said the success Kenya has had in sealing air-travel exit points by incorporating the use of sniffer dogs, which will also be integrated at the Eldoret and upcoming Kisumu airports. He said the weak penalties in Kenya's laws were being part of the problem in fighting the crisis.
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No Rhino Powder for Kaza

No Rhino Powder for Kaza | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Reports that the governments of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Angola agreed to sell rhino horn powder in clinics and pharmacies are "malicious and false," says Dr Jeff Ramsay, Botswana's chief of government communication....
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Concern Grows Around Permits Issued to Alleged Rhino Horn Syndicate Suspect | Rhino Horn is NOT Medicine

Concern Grows Around Permits Issued to Alleged Rhino Horn Syndicate Suspect | Rhino Horn is NOT Medicine | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
International outrage was sparked last year when the public learned that permits to hunt, convey, import, and export white rhino had continued to be issued to alleged crime syndicate kingpin, Dawie Groenewald, after his arrest for suspected rhino...
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Microchips for Rhino to Stop Poaching

Microchips for Rhino to Stop Poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

NEW norms and standards for marking and micro-chipping rhino horn and trophy hunting will be implemented immediately, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

 

According to the new norms and standards gazetted on April 10, all live rhinos sold and transported had to be microchipped.

 

All rhino horns, regardless of how they were acquired, had to be microchipped within five days, Molewa said....

 

Rhino hunts had to take place in the presence of an environmental management inspector or of an official of the issuing authority authorised to conduct compliance inspections....

 

...the taxidermist or owner of a similar facility must report to the Department of Environmental Affairs the date of receipt of horns, their weight, microchip numbers, numbers of hunting and transport permits, and the professional hunting register.”

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171 rhinos dead in SA in 2012

171 rhinos dead in SA in 2012 | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A total of 171 rhinos have been poached between January and April this year, the environmental affairs department said on Friday.
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RHINO POACHING STATISTICS TO DATE

RHINO POACHING STATISTICS TO DATE | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

MEDIA STATEMENT 13 APRIL 2012

 

Department of Environmental Affairs is perturbed by the continuous loss of rhinos through illegal killings.

 

So far, a total of 171 rhinos have been killed this year for the illegal trade in rhino horn.

 

According to statistics, rhino poachers are targeting the Kruger National Park which has suffered a loss of 103 rhinos killed.

 

Limpopo, KZN and North-West - collectively accounting for 58 killed rhinos - are also the prime focus of the poachers. These provinces have lost 23, 18 and 17 rhinos, respectively

 

The department wishes to once again urge South Africans to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrest and prevention of illegal killing to 0800 205 005.

 

For media queries contact:
Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

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Hunt for poaching suspects turns deadly - IOL News | IOL.co.za

Hunt for poaching suspects turns deadly - IOL News | IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A Rhino poaching suspect has been shot and killed in a gunfight with wildlife rangers at Ndumo Game Reserve, on KwaZulu-Natal’s northern border with Mozambique.

 

The shooting happened early on Wednesday when a group of three poachers was intercepted in the reserve by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s anti-poaching unit.

 

Ezemvelo had received information on Tuesday night that a rhino poaching attempt was about to be launched in Ndumo.

 

According to Ezemvelo rhino security co-ordinator Jabulani Ngubane, rifle shots were fired when the poaching suspects were confronted around 5am.

Ezemvelo officers returned fire and, once the shooting stopped, a critically injured man was found nearby.

 

He died before an ambulance arrived at the reserve.
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Dogs, A Rhino's Best Friend!

The country’s anti-poaching operators will soon be able to call on the acute noses of specially trained dogs in their battle to end the indiscriminate slaughter of rhino.

 

Until recently the public face of counter-poaching was that of an armed ranger putting his life on the line for our rhino. This is going to change with the deployment of the three specially trained dogs to assist field rangers in tracking operations against poachers and those suspected of involvement in this heinous crime.”

 

Three foxhounds, the same breed used in the traditional English bloodsport of fox hunting, are in the final stages of specialist training and have already learnt to ignore animal spoor in favour of that left by humans...

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Holes in My Soles: All This Must Pass.

Holes in My Soles: All This Must Pass. | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Jim McIntosh writes poems to

share the rhino's plight:

 

"So you're repelled by this face

where horns have been slashed away,

your helplessness seems a deep crevasse.

 

Dig down in your soul,

climb out of that hole

...and all this will pass.

 

When you're crying for their loss,

and your tears are all you've got,

there is pain in your heart you must surpass.

 

They need you to strive

to help them stay alive

...or so they will pass......"

 

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World’s First Dedicated Rhino Orphanage Founded

World’s First Dedicated Rhino Orphanage Founded | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The Wildlife & Cultural Centre at Legend Golf & Safari Resort in Limpopo Province is to be the site for the centre, which will take in baby rhinos that have been orphaned or injured by poaching across the country. Poaching has seen a record number of rhinos killed and orphaned in the past 14 months. More than 400 rhino were butchered in South Africa last year and almost 100 have died in the first two months of 2012.

 

A R4m campaign has been launched to fund the project which has already gained the support of most of the major organisations involved in the war to save the rhino.

 

The first donation has already been made by agricultural machine specialists New Holland who have donated a new tractor to the project after hearing of the plans for the orphanage.

 

South Africa is home to more than 90 percent of the rhinos on the planet, and the world’s first rhino orphanage will be a major step forward in the battle to protect the species.

 

Arrie van Deventer runs the Wildlife & Cultural Centre and is confident the orphanage can be opened soon and will be a safe haven for baby rhinos.

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Bowling for Rhinos 2012

"AAZK's Bowling for Rhinos" fund raiser began on a small scale and is now an AAZK-sponsored North American event raising between $200,000- $300,000 annually....
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'Screaming' rhino calf nudges dead mom

'Screaming' rhino calf nudges dead mom | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

A Limpopo game farmer and farm manager have told how they heard a shot, the blows of an axe, and later discovered a month-old rhino calf "screaming" next to his dead mother....

 

WildlifeMargrit: This just breaks my heart! 

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Still hope for surviving rhinos despite poaching - Crime & Courts | IOL News | IOL.co.za

Still hope for surviving rhinos despite poaching - Crime & Courts | IOL News | IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The poachers came first. And then the scavengers: the vultures and the hyena. Lion probably also had their share of the feast.

Now all that remains of the fallen rhino are a few bones bleached by the sun, a mound of sunken flesh and the ravages of the bullets that ended its life four days ago.

This remote patch of land, a breath from the Mozambican border, will now become a lonely graveyard for this rhino, as others have become in the poaching “hotspots” of the Kruger National Park.

“This is typically how a rhino is poached in the Kruger, far from anywhere,” explains Ken Maggs, the head of the environmental crime investigation unit at SANParks, as he gestures to the forensic team delicately gathering evidence around the sagging carcass....
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Rhino Summit in Nairobi develops action plan - eTurboNews.com

Rhino Summit in Nairobi develops action plan - eTurboNews.com | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The Nairobi based conservation centre of the African Wildlife Foundation, in short AWF hosted a continental meeting during the week, aimed to discuss strategies on protecting the rhinos, now under assault like never before.
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