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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Wonderful People Wednesday - Peter Milton Protects Rhinos

Wonderful People Wednesday - Peter Milton Protects Rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Saving endangered and threatened species is Peter’s passion and his work. Rhino, lion, leopards, cheetah in South Africa.

 

Peter is against the legalizing of the rhino horn trade, and is for using all the modern technology possible and engaging as many local people as practical in the fight to save the last rhinos.

 

“If we can’t save the rhino, what hope is there for the other wildlife of Africa”

is the haunting question Peter asks us all.

 

It is with pleasure that I introduce you to one of our heroes who save African wildlife, namely…

 

http://www.nikela.org/blog/wonderful-people-wednesday-peter-milton-protects-rhinos ;

 

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Forget cocaine: Rhino horn is the new drug of status

Forget cocaine: Rhino horn is the new drug of status | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Vietnam’s rich, believing it cures a hangover, are ingesting ground up rhino horn. The habit is devastating Africa’s rhino population.

 

OHANNESBURG, South Africa — More expensive than cocaine, rhino horn has become the party drug of choice among Vietnam’s bright young things.

 

Instead of a razor blade and mirror, a roughly textured ceramic bowl is used for grinding down rhinoceros horn into a powder to be mixed with water or wine.

 

Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same protein as fingernails. Scientists say it has no medicinal value, and users aren’t getting high. The belief in Vietnam is that 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.”

 

This is the latest twist in South Africa’s devastating rhino poaching crisis, which began with a sudden boom in illegal killings of the endangered animal in 2008 and has worsened every year since.

 

Demand among the newly wealthy in Vietnam is the root of the problem, says TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring group....

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NBC News VIDEO: Record rhino slaughter in South Africa tied to Vietnam

NBC News VIDEO: Record rhino slaughter in South Africa tied to Vietnam | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A rhino poaching crisis in South Africa is fed by an insatiable demand in Vietnam for the large animals' horns, which are believed to promote health, cure hangovers and even cancer, according to a new report.
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South Africa National Parks Official Update on the Rhino Issue

South Africa National Parks Official Update on the Rhino Issue | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The Kruger National Park has lost a total of 201 rhinos to illegal killings in 2012

 

The Green Scorpions conducted inspections looking at compliance with the legal requirements related to waste, pollution and biodiversity issues. Under biodiversity issues, the two main aims were to check compliance with regard to the Threatened Or Protected Species Regulations (TOPS) as well as compliance with the amended Norms and Standards on the marking of rhinoceros and rhinoceros horn and for the hunting of rhinoceros for trophy hunting purposes under the National Environmental Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004, as published in Government Notice no. 304 on the 10th of April 2012. This is in line with the Department’s plan to ensure ongoing industry compliance in an effort to curb the number of environmental crimes, including rhino poaching....

 

http://www.sanparks.org/about/news/default.php?id=55267 

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Rhino Stats! August 24 2012

Rhino Stats! August 24 2012 | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Since Ed Huydic sent us these statistics Allison Thomson of OSCAP reports two more rhino have been poached. The poaching rate is now almost two a day!

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Crucial Measures Are Being Taken to Halt the Escalation of Ivory and Rhino Horn Smuggling Throughout the World

Crucial Measures Are Being Taken to Halt the Escalation of Ivory and Rhino Horn Smuggling Throughout the World | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Crucial measures are being taken to halt the escalation of ivory and rhino horn smuggling according the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
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Corrupt insiders big in rhino poaching

Corrupt insiders big in rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The increasingly sophisticated weapons and tactics that rhino poachers use suggest that they are getting help from corrupt wildlife officials, a report said.

 

The South Africa-Vietnam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus report, released in Johannesburg yesterday, said these "developments" had identified a "new face" in poaching.

 

"Rhinos are usually killed with AK-47 assault rifles but a growing number are killed with weapons characteristically used by wildlife industry professionals," read the report.

 

The report was compiled by the UK-based wildlife trade monitoring NGO, Traffic....

 

Vietnamese hunters account for 48% (185) of the 384 registered hunters paying $22-million to hunt rhino between 2009 and May.

 

The abuse has become so bad that South Africa's hunting associations have warned their members to avoid Vietnamese clients, and the Environmental Affairs Department has suspended issuing hunting permits to Vietnamese.

 

Traffic spokesman Richard Thomas said that, because Vietnam is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, it has an obligation to eliminate the trade in rhino horn....

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Wildlife Margrit's comment, August 24, 2012 2:51 PM
thanks Angie
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THE MYTH: Tips to revitalize sex life after 50 with traditional Chinese medicine

THE MYTH: Tips to revitalize sex life after 50 with traditional Chinese medicine | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
eMaxHealthTips to revitalize sex life after 50 with traditional Chinese medicineeMaxHealthHowever, she feels that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an approach that has addressed these issues for centuries.

 

the MYTH PERPETUATED!

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Anthony Brown's comment, February 6, 2013 4:09 AM
Everyone men and woman must read this to enjoy sex life - http://www.rosebudmag.com/lifestyle/sex-advice/sex-orgasm-women-men-sexual-dysfunction
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Beyond biodiversity: Sustainable development implications of South Africa’s “rhino wars”

“Our rhinos are part of our valuable ecotourism and safari industries. Their very existence creates employment and generates important tourism revenue,” says Mike Rumble of the African Conservation Trust.

 

In 2011, South African President Jacob Zuma announced six priority areas to boost job creation in South Africa, tourism being one of them. According to Zuma, for every 16 tourists that visit the country, one South African job is created....

 

“Ecotourism has a far greater potential for contributing to income and livelihoods in poor rural communities than what is realised,” says Edgar Kaeslin, from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

 

Tourists from all over the world visit South Africa to observe the country’s rich natural environment and rare species. Black rhinos - considered one of the rarest rhinos in Africa - are a main attraction in South Africa and are responsible for driving much tourism in the region....

 

But these ecotourism spin-off benefits are in jeopardy. The recent drop in numbers of black rhinos due to poaching has caused a spike in the value of their horns which, in turn, is stimulating the black market....

 

 

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SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS ARE BEING DEPRIVED OF THEIR WILDLIFE HERITAGE

Investigation exposes serious problems in the Conservation & Wildlife Sectors

 

20th August 2012

 

Members of the Facebook Rhino activism group RHINO SOS S.A. are deeply concerned over recent revelations of irregularities regarding the conservation of wildlife and in particular the conservation of South Africa’s iconic Rhino species.

 

The illusions they once held of a well regulated and organized sector have been shattered with new information emanating from the recent Rhino Dialogue Workshops held by the Department of Water & Environmental Affairs (DWEA).

 

Minister Edna Molewa commissioned Mavuso Msimang, a former Cabinet minister and ANC stalwart, to consult with various stakeholders and submit a report to her by September.

To that end various Rhino Talks have been held in Johannesburg and Durban and the concluding workshop where the issues were summarized was held in Johannesburg on the 15th August.

 

Founder and spokesperson of RHINO SOS SA, Margot Stewart, says she felt privileged to be invited to some of the Workshops but sadly what she learned there only confirmed the worst fears that her research of the past 6 months had indicated.

 

This includes:

 

· ineptitude and mismanagement, including corruption with National Parks staff involved in wildlife crime

 

· old (& new) rivalries & feuds between stakeholders

 

· a lack of communication between the Government, conservation authorities and the private sector

 

· gross abuse of Wildlife including farmers staging their own “poaching’s” and canned hunting

 

· mishandling of the permitting system, smuggling and sales of animal parts to criminal syndicates

· non-compliance by many of the Wildlife ranchers and traders.

 

Even worse, Margot says, is the realization that the very same authorities that have the responsibility of making important decisions about the welfare of Wildlife are biased towards the creation of a Central Selling Organisation which is in danger of fostering a system of gradual domestication of wildlife.

 

It was found that the industry caters to the needs of hunters and ranchers rather than tourists and nature lovers. Pure conservation - for the sake of preserving wilderness areas and iconic wild animals - is not practiced anymore and has been replaced by a culture of “sustainable use” also known as “it stays only if it pays”.

 

This unacceptable state of affairs has been developing over the past 30 years or so. RHINO SOS believes that only an urgent, complete overhaul of the present system can put us back on the road of preserving wilderness areas and the wildlife it contains.

 

SOUTH AFRICA NOT IN TUNE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD

 

*South African wildlife ranching is unique in the world with its exempted wildlife ranches, where the wildlife belongs to the owner of the land. The current Legal status of wildlife as Res Nullius (without owner) needs to be changed to something more protective.

 

*South Africa is the only country in the world where the big five can be legally hunted.

 

*Today the number of animals owned by the private sector is about 3 to 4 times more than the number in government protected areas – obviously all of these animals originated from the State owned parks that began to dispose of surplus wildlife on their reserves in the 1960’s.

 

*Wildlife ranching is the fastest growing agricultural activity in South Africa in the past three decades. [(In 1965 there were 4 fenced game ranches, today OVER 9,000 private game ranches OR 16.8% of total land area of SA is involved in the industry. (du Toit)]

 

The iconic Kruger National Park accounts for the largest section of land that has been set aside as wilderness area, but it is now under attack from a combination of:

 

· Armed insurgents from neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe and Mozambique – some fences between the KNP and these countries were dropped with the institution of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park

 

· Local communities who have instituted land claims and who poach for bushmeat

 

· Farmers on the Western boundary have dropped the fences between them and the KNP and due to agreements with SANParks have free access to game that wanders onto their land.

 

Hunting and harvesting of animals occurs on some of these farms

 

· The Northern section of the KNP has substantial coal reserves and is being eyed greedily by mining interests already in the area.

 

· Current management of the KNP is opting for developing the Park with luxury hotels and a Casino has also been suggested.

 

A trend is developing where the KNP could be sliced up between the various interested parties and lose its original function which was for the “creation of the area ultimately as a great national park where the natural and prehistoric conditions of our country can be preserved for all time.”

Recently there has even been a land claim from the Kingdom of Swaziland over the southern section of the KNP.

 

Considering that only approx. 6% of South Africa is under conservation of which only half of that is Game Reserve these claims and attacks on the Kruger National Park are of great concern.

 

Another trend is that wildlife in the National Parks is moving at a rapid pace into the possession of private owners who offer luxury safari packages to wealthy tourists and/or hunters on their property.

 

The average South African citizen could find themselves deprived of affordable opportunities to enjoy nature and their wildlife heritage. At the Workshop on the 15th August, Margot asked Dr. Richard Emslie, a consultant to the Government and the Scientific expert on African rhino, if it wasn’t possible that eventually more rhinos would exist on rhino farms than in game reserves and if this wasn’t of concern to him.

 

His reply: “Then it would be a success!”

 

RHINO SOS does not consider domesticated, dehorned rhinos standing in paddocks eating hay a successful solution to the rhino poaching problem. Rhinos are not as Dr. Emslie claims: “just like any other investment.”

 

The pro – and anti – rhino horn issue has been debated in depth and more information on this can be found on the RHINO SOS Group on Facebook.

 

We call on the South African Government to institute an immediate over haul of the Wildlife and Conservation sector. South Africa cannot afford to delay this process because only 20,000 rhinos remain in the world and in 2011 three species went extinct in the wild, one of which (the Western Black) is now totally extinct.

 

RHINO SOS is not alone in thinking that WILDLIFE BELONGS IN THE WILD, in their natural habitat and free from abuse by humans. There are a multitude of organisations – mainly non-profit, that agrees. Rian Geldenhuys, founder of the 17,000 member strong STIR (Stop Trade in Rhino) www.causes.com/stir < http://www.causes.com/stir  >; says that South Africa will be short-sighted to sell bogus medicine to gullible cancer patients in SE Asia, as the total income that can be earned from that crime, is not even 0.3% of the GDP. It is therefore not worth becoming a pariah nation for.

 

The South African Wildlife & Conservation sector is on a slippery slope to destroying our heritage of Africa of old. We need assistance from all concerned Citizens of the World to stop the cruelty especially with regard to Rhino farming. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE for rhinos to be killed or maimed to obtain a product that is used for a spurious medical practice. With all respect to the Far Eastern nations who have superstitious beliefs in the power of rhino horn, there are other better and cheaper alternatives such as Willow Bark (Aspirin) or Amino Acid Supplements that should be utilized.

 

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE EXTREME VULNERABILITY OF THE RHINOCEROS POPULATIONS OF THE WORLD, RHINO SOS PROPOSES THAT:

 

1. ALL RHINO HORN STOCKPILES BE BURNED

2. ALL RHINOS OF THE WORLD BE CLASSIFIED ON C.I.T.E.S APPENDIX I. THIS WOULD REQUIRE THAT THE RHINO POPULATION OF SOUTH AFRICA AND SWAZILAND BE RE-CLASSIFIED FROM APPENDIX II BACK TO APPENDIX I.

 

THE RE-CLASSIFICATION OF THE WHITE RHINO TO APPENDIX I WILL DISALLOW ANY TYPE OF TRADE AND AFFORD THE SPECIES THE HIGHEST FORM OF PROTECTION INTERNATIONALLY.

 

Margot Stewart

RHINO SOS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rhinosos /

Durban

South Africa

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In Vietnam, Rhino Horn is the Drug of Choice at both Parties and Hospitals

In Vietnam, Rhino Horn is the Drug of Choice at both Parties and Hospitals | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A new report issued by TRAFFIC issues the latest depressing statistics surrounding the epidemic-proportion illegal rhino horn trade between South Africa and Asia.
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TRAFFIC warns over 500 rhinos could perish this year

TRAFFIC warns over 500 rhinos could perish this year | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Global wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC warned Tuesday that 515 rhinos could perish by the end of the year if no action is taken to stem the illicit trade in rhino horns....

 

South Africa, home to about three quarters of Africa's 20,000 or so white rhinos and 4,800 critically endangered black rhinos, has in recent years witnessed an unprecedented spike in sophisticated, violent and organised rhino-related criminal activities.

 

Last year 448 rhinos were killed compared to 13 animals in 2007.

South Africa has lately scaled up its fight against illegal poaching and trade in rhinos horns, arresting 176 suspects so far this year, more than the 165 arrested in the 12 months of 2010....

 

But she warned that even with the successful stories of high-value arrests the criminal syndicates appeared generally to be a step ahead -- better equipped, well funded.

 

"As anti-poaching security levels are stepped up, the poaching gangs become more aggressive and increasingly sophisticated," she said.

 

The report named Vietnam as the worst offender fuelling the trade in the black market for rhino horns.

 

"The bottom line is that we are not close to ending this crisis yet, we are probably going to get record numbers this year," warned the report's co-author Tom Milliken, who is also an expert on rhinos at TRAFFIC.

 

The grounded horn, which is believed by some to cure cancers, has taken on a new use and is now being pushed as a recreational drug mixed with drinks at elite "rhino wine associations" parties in the belief that it cures hangover.

 

The report says the only way to end illegal rhino hunting is to cut off the demand, by pushing Vietnam to boldly show commitment and decisively enforce laws that prohibit trade in the horns....

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IMAGE: Witness Protection for the Rhino

IMAGE: Witness Protection for the Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

From our friends at Wild at Heart

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Vietnam denies being main Rhino horn market

The latest report by international wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic has claimed the record-high rhino poaching in South Africa is being fed by a surging demand from Vietnam, identifying the country as the main market for rhino horn.

 

However, Vietnamese authorities and conservation experts have denied the allegation, saying the study, which has attracted much coverage by foreign press, is not objective and evidence-based. They say that rhino horn is not used in Vietnam but rather it arrives in transit to a third country....

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'Mr Fix It' to release rhino poaching report

'Mr Fix It' to release rhino poaching report | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Mavuso Msimang said a report he compiled on rhino poaching will be ready in the next two months.

 

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African National Parks (SANParks) CEO Mavuso Msimang on Thursday said a report he was asked to compile for government on how to curb rhino poaching will be ready within the next two months.

 

Msimang, also known as Mr Fix It, updated the media on the process and public workshops which are held on poaching.

He warned rhino could be extinct within the next 25-years if the current rate of poaching continues.

 

Msimang said South Africans have a responsibility to the country and the world to stop rhino poaching.

 

“Rhinos are being butchered virtually more than one of them a day.”

He said coordination between provinces on fighting the crisis remains poor, saying all communities and crime intelligence gathering is needed.

 

“Most ideas are coming through on how to provide security for the rhino.”

 

Msimang said government will decide whether to make his report on poaching public.

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Kenya: Poacher Killed in Meru Park

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers yesterday killed a man beleived to be behind the killing of a pregnant black rhino in the Meru National Park.

 

The 30-year -old man, only identified as Mutwiri, is said to have been in a gang of five poachers the rhino at the weekend.

 

"The rangers heard shots within the park, but they could not immediately locate them. They laid an ambush on the probable escape routes using the KWS helicopter for surveillance", said Ali Nzimbu, the Igembe police boss.

 

The Park has fenced off a rhino sanctuary which was expanded last year to cover more than 80 kilometers square on the western part of the park. It is home to 40 white rhinos and 20 black rhinos.

 

The sanctuary is said to be the best breeding place for rhinos in the country and KWS is on strict alert on poachers.

 

The rangers and the police are searching for the four poachers who escaped.

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Race against time to save rhino

Race against time to save rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Johannesburg - Rhinos could be extinct within the next 25 years if they are not protected, an environmental affairs rhino issue manager said on Thursday.

 

“At the rate at which these animals are being slaughtered, over the past 20 years or so - if that continued there would be no rhino to talk about in another 25 years or so,” Mavuso Msimang told reporters in Johannesburg.

 

“The rate at which they are born currently is higher than the rate at which they are taken out, for now. They are not about to be extinct, not next year or shortly... But how do we contain this to have natural growth rates?”

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Woman recovering from rhino attack

Woman recovering from rhino attack | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

A woman who was attacked by a rhino cow on a farm outside Bela-Bela last week is recuperating at her Hartbeespoort Dam home.

 

A woman who was attacked by a rhino cow on a farm outside Bela-Bela last week is recuperating at her Hartbeespoort Dam home.

 

Purette van Heerden, 42, an animal conservation enthusiast, had volunteered to help with the relocation of a rhino calf and her cow to a game reserve in Limpopo.

 

She was standing in a holding pen with her daughter, 21, watching farm employees dart the rhino cow and her calf, when another rhino charged at her, and repeatedly "rolled her around," Beeld reported.

The rhino cow stopped when her daughter screamed.

 

"I was able to actually pull myself upright, holding onto the rhino's horn," Van Heerden said.

 

She sustained multiple fractures to her pelvis, and later received emergency treatment in a Pretoria hospital.

 

"Animals are my passion, and when I'm well again, I'll continue to help them... the accident was entirely my fault -- I was in their territory," she said.

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339 Poached and other Rhino stats via OSCAP

339 Poached and other Rhino stats via OSCAP | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
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Bands step up to rock for rhinos - World Rhino Day Sept 22

Bands step up to rock for rhinos - World Rhino Day Sept 22 | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The first Rocking for Rhinos festival will be held on the rolling hills of the recreational park, located in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, over the weekend of World Rhino Day, September 22 to 23, with all profits raised going towards anti-poaching efforts.

Via Eve Dalton
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Lost Page Restored: Direct Wire Donation Option Now Available | Nikela

Lost Page Restored: Direct Wire Donation Option Now Available | Nikela | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
You asked for options to donate to Nikela Projects. Use your credit card, make a bank transfer or direct wire to save endangered and threatened African wildlife.
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Winners: Picture the Change in rhino poaching and SA’s inequities

Winners: Picture the Change in rhino poaching and SA’s inequities | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The winners of the Picture the Change photographic competition have been announced. The winner in the media category was Michael Raimondo, founder and director of film production company Green Renaissance, which captured the translocation of 19 rhino to a safer locality as part of WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.

 

The second award of the evening went to Durban photographer Rob Greaves. Captioned “some sacrifices in life are hard to understand”, it depicts a nanny carrying a white child on her back, while her own toddler walks alongside her.

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COMACO turns poachers into farmers and conservationists

What would you do to survive?

It was a bad season for crops. Your food harvest was too little to carry your family through to the next harvest. The time you devoted to growing cotton kept you from growing more food and the money you earned from the cotton company is still not enough to meet your needs. You were desperate then and you're desperate now. You have a family of 6, you have no money and no food. How are you going to feed your family? Today you don't have any other crops to sell, so you have to find another way to survive... You take actions into your own hands and go out and kill an elephant so your family can survive. Conservationists around the world now hate you. They call you a greedy, selfish, inhumane poacher without even knowing the whole story... Watch the video below and see how COMACO figured out this crucial connection between poor, hungry people and conservation of animals and ecosystems.  

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A call for Tanzania to make saving the #rhino priority one

Tanzania which leads in Africa and in some cases in the world in offering a rich variety and abundance of wild life, faces the risk of losing it all, if it does not seriously face up to and remove the threats to the survival of the species....

 

For a long time now, we have been reading about the efforts being made to protect the rhino, now under the threat of extinction, though it once boasted of a population of over 70,000 on the continent.


Indeed statistics given by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki show how difficult it has been for authorities to put a stop to the massacre of the animal, hunted mainly for its horn, highly sought after in the oriental world for traditional medicine.


Kagasheki explained that during the 1960s, it was estimated that there were about 70,000 black rhinos in Africa, of which 10,000 were in Tanzania, the largest concentrations in the continent....

 

It is true that Tanzania is not alone in the near-impossible battle to save the rhino hunted down by criminal gangs backed by oriental groups with big money....

 

Given their low birth rate and the threat of its most deadly predator – the poacher - their continued existence at best lies in the artificial, but hopefully a more secure environment of the zoo, as recommended by Prof Kayumbo.

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VIDEO: South Africa's Rhino Orphanage

VIDEO: South Africa's Rhino Orphanage | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Video on TODAY.com: A five-month-old black rhinoceros is the first resident at a center in South Africa that takes in rhino orphans whose parents have died from poachers. TODAY.com's Dara Brown reports.
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