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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Rhino Crisis Round Up: Game Farmers Allegedly Killing Their Own Rhinos & More

Rhino Crisis Round Up: Game Farmers Allegedly Killing Their Own Rhinos & More | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
This week, the South African media reported that some game farmers and reserve owners have allegedly been killing their own rhinos and claiming the rhinos were...

 

...game farmer Dawie Groenewald was mentioned in the IOL/ Cape Times revelation, since the bodies of 20 dehorned rhinos were found in a mass grave on his property shortly after his 2010 arrest....

 

...Marnus Steyl, who (allegedly) hired Thai prostitutes to pose as trophy hunters to kill rhinos on his property. Steyl is (allegedly) linked to the lion bone trade as well.
However, a Hawks’ spokesperson told Eyewitness News that they do not want “farmers to be painted with the same brush [as poachers]“....

 

...R11 million (US $1,331,077) in assets belonging to South African game farmer and convicted rhino horn dealer Jacques Els have been seized. The assets are “believed to have been acquired through criminal activities” and the seizure includes his Thabazimbi property.


Els began serving his eight-year sentence earlier this month.
As of July 17th, at least 281 rhinos have been massacred for their horns this year in South Africa....

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VIDEO: Antique Show to Highlight Rhino Crisis

VIDEO: Antique Show to Highlight Rhino Crisis | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The WKRC-TV Media Center section...
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Is rhino horn like sheep's wool? Legalised horn trade ‘ could save rhino’ maybe!

Is rhino horn like sheep's wool? Legalised horn trade ‘ could save rhino’ maybe! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

EZEMVELO KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife’s push to have the global ban on the rhino horn trade lifted has found support in a new proposal to establish a central selling organisation (CSO) for rhino horns, similar to the one that enabled De Beers to control diamond prices and markets...

 

There is no silver bullet" to eliminate poaching, but stabilising demand and prices for the horn to generate income and disrupt illegal trade, and better law enforcement, can make rhino conservation sustainable over the long term, says Roger Porter, the former head of planning at Ezemvelo, the environment and conservation management department of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government.

 

Mr Porter’s plan includes selling horns directly to Chinese pharmaceutical firms. Horns will be certified by chemical analysis and transponder chips through the proposed CSO.

 

Buyers will be certified, there will be three to four international sales a year, only clean horns will be sold, and the horns will be imported and exported through the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) certificates....

 

One of the biggest hurdles to legalisation is that the government needs to retain ties with trading partners such as Vietnam, China and the European Union, and overturning the ban will require approval from two-thirds of Cites members.

 

Mr Porter says the horns for trading will be supplied only from the natural deaths of the relatively healthy white rhino population in southern Africa, and from stockpiles accumulated by the government and private sector over decades.

 

Stricter penalties and better policing for rhino poachers was essential, and income from the legal trade will go back to the conservation of the animal....

 

Mr Porter wants the government to try out his proposal for legal trade of the horn for five years to "see what impact it has on poaching and black market prices". If there is no benefit, the sales could be stopped....

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Rhino Queem's comment, July 23, 2012 6:18 PM
Hi, Margrit. Good to read the statement in full. Porter's concept, and analogy with the diamond industry, are nice, but fundamentally flawed. Yes, certification helped De Beers to control diamond prices and the markets, but everyone knows there is a thriving demand for uncertified diamonds. Additionally, diamond price control has kept the prices up - to use certification and price control for rhinos in the same way would keep rhino horn prices up, thus encouraging poaching. Only artificially low prices could discourage illegal poaching. And I don't anyone will go for drastically dropping the price of rhino horn.

Just because there is no "silver bullet" is NO reason to implement a fundamentally flawed premise.
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Owners Attacking and 'Dehorning' Their Own Rhinos?

Owners Attacking and 'Dehorning' Their Own Rhinos? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Some rhino owners are allegedly dehorning or killing them, claiming to be victims of poaching, according to a new report.

 

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela told the newspaper they were aware of allegations of rhino owners attacking their own animals, selling the horns illegally and then covering up the crime.

 

"We are not prepared to talk about these since they are at their very early stages," he said, refusing to confirm whether the Hawks were officially investigating these claims.

 

Three sources linked to the underworld, who could not be named, told the newspaper they knew of game farm and reserve owners who were guilty of this crime.

 

The owners were either desperate for money or had realised that selling horns was more profitable than keeping their rhinos.

 

On Tuesday, the environmental affairs department said 281 rhinos had been poached this year, mostly in the Kruger National Park. Police had arrested 176 individuals in connection with the crimes.

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Air show highlights rhino plight

Air show highlights rhino plight | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The fight against rhino poaching literally took to the skies last week when a rhino was airlifted in a breathtaking “Skydive for Rhino” at the 2012 Durban Air Show.
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Court orders release of rhino suspects

Court orders release of rhino suspects | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

he High Court ordered the release of three suspected rhino poachers on bail this week.

 

The court order was enforced in the Louis Trichardt Regional Court on Tuesday.

 

The three men, Januarie Machava (37), Juda Nyembe (38) and Matthew Pedro Ngwenya (42), accused of poaching rhinos in the Alldays area, lodged an appeal to the North Gauteng High Court to be released after they were initially denied bail earlier this year. All three were charged with single counts of attempted murder and the carrying out of a restricted activity on a protected species without the necessary permit....

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Second man arrested in Norwich Castle rhino horn theft case

Second man arrested in Norwich Castle rhino horn theft case | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A second man has been arrested in connection with a failed attempt to steal a £240,000 rhino horn from Norwich Castle Museum in February.

 

The 21-year-old from Newham, east London, was detained over the weekend and released on bail until September.

 

Nihad Mahmod, 19, of no fixed address, has already been jailed for two-and-a-half years for his part in the attempt to steal the horn.

The museum has since replaced the rhino horn with a replica.

 

On the black market, rhino horns can sell for about £50,000 per-kg, making them as valuable or more valuable than gold or cocaine.
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Conservationists Gone Bonkers? SA must make rhino's 'bonk' more to save the species

Conservationists Gone Bonkers? SA must make rhino's 'bonk' more to save the species | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

South Africa’s rhino populations must be managed so that the animals can “bonk at the maximum rate” and churn out calves to serve as a buffer against the poaching onslaught...

 

WildlifeMargrit:

This appears to be all about the money and not the rhino! 

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Mass support for rhino protest - KwaZulu-Natal

Mass support for rhino protest - KwaZulu-Natal | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Durban - Animal rights activists took to the streets of Durban on Tuesday to show their anger at the killing of rhinos for their horns and to show support for initiatives aimed at stopping poaching....

 

March organiser Moses Mkhabela said there needed to be global awareness if this giant animal was to be saved...

 

“Although the demand for the horns is from foreigners, it is the local people who assist in the killings,” said Mkhabela.

“Rhinos belong to everyone in Africa, regardless of race, and we should unite in protecting them.”...

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Rhino horn trading back on the table

Rhino horn trading back on the table | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
South Africa may still mount a “last-minute” bid to overturn the 30-year world ban on rhino-horn trading, despite recent government signals that it has put the controversial proposal on ice.

This emerged last night after rhino conservationist Ian Player urged delegates at the International Wildlife Management Congress in Durban to lend their support to a new system of legalised and controlled international trading of rhino horns as a way to curb the recent alarming spike in rhino poaching in SA.
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Rhino Queen's comment, July 12, 2012 2:21 PM
You're right, Margrit. It's the Devil's Business, that's for sure.

And you are right about the business model. Legalizing stockpiled sales, as Dr. Player advocates, only changes the front end of the transaction with a cheap up-front price. It does not change the horror of the illegal trade that will continue to take place on the back end in Asia - a region with which I am very familiar,

Sadly, there is no perfect solution. But if we can take the pressure off live rhino by offering greedy syndicate heads cheap horn stockpiles, that would be a big win - albeit a very mixed blessing.

I have been very opposed to legalized trade, so this is a switch for me. I agree that it is critical that we all be courteous in discussing this critical issue.
Wildlife Margrit's comment, July 12, 2012 2:45 PM
I'm sure we'll be crossing paths again. May our polite exchange continue between us and with others as the debate heats up... again.

To the rhino, may we humans despite our bumbling find a way to save it.
Rhino Queem's comment, July 12, 2012 3:06 PM
Our paths already do cross - via WAR and OSCAP. I am one of the owners of the MAASAI page on FB, and do the advocacy. I am a huge fan of Nikela.

An ability to discuss tough issues rationally, compassionately and politely is too often absent.

To the rhino... Cheers.
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Save the Rhino Quest

Save the Rhino Quest | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

My mission is to get at least 2000 of these sold, this enabling me to give R80 000 to the Rocking for Rhinos Organisation were all the money will go to the care and safety of our Rhinos. Buying one...


Via Trevor TQ Harvey
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Rhino Horn: Cut and conserve

Rhino Horn: Cut and conserve | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The photograph is shocking. You can almost hear the roar of the chainsaw as a man saws off a rhino’s horn.

 

Like ash, horn shavings drift in the air.

 

“It’s heartbreaking when you hear the chainsaw and the horn comes off. It’s shocking, but it’s worked,” maintains photographer Alwyn Myburgh....

 

A vet and spotter in a helicopter helped the team identify rhinos to dart.

 

“We had to get to the animal quickly.

 

Time is critical. Once there, we would turn the rhino over and place a blanket over its eyes....

 

Being up close to such a majestic animal, he says, is an unbelievable experience.

 

“And to think they’re being killed for the equivalent of toenail. It’s madness.”

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Rhino cops seize R11m in assets from Limpopo game farmer

Rhino cops seize R11m in assets from Limpopo game farmer | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Law enforcement agencies on Friday seized R11 million in assets from a Limpopo game farmer convicted of dealing in rhino horns.
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VIDEO: Dance to be wild

VIDEO: Dance to be wild | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

An initiative by leading South African and International Ballroom and Latin American dancers to:

 

- contribute effectively to the fight against the indiscrimiate killing of our rhino population through dance.

 

- enhance South Africa's children's lives through the beauty of dance.

 

- empower South Africa's children to take ownership of their wildlife heritage through educational and dance programmes.

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Unicorns are real! We call them RHINO

Unicorns are real! We call them RHINO | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Via Julie McIntosh

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Juls's comment, July 20, 2012 6:06 AM
That they are! :)
Wildlife Margrit's comment, July 20, 2012 5:56 PM
Agreed Juls ;)
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How You Can Help Save Rhino and Other Endangered Species

How You Can Help Save Rhino and Other Endangered Species | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Much to do, with a little help from a lot we can save endangered species, like rhino from poaching, wildlife trafficking, illegal trade, and organized crime.

 

Nikela volunteers and friends help in three major ways:

1)Raising Funds

2)Sharing Expertise

3)Giving Time

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281 rhinos killed by poachers in S. Africa this year

281 rhinos killed by poachers in S. Africa this year | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Poachers in South Africa have killed 281 rhinos so far this year, with the world-famous Kruger National Park accounting for over half the killings, authorities said Tuesday.
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Peoria Illinois Zoo's Bowling for Rhinos

The Central Illinois Zoo Keepers Association at the Peoria Zoo is sponsoring the annual Bowling for Rhinos August 4th at Landmark Lanes in Peoria.

 

The American Association of Zoo Keepers has collected over $4 million dollars since 1990 with 100% of contributions going towards rhino conservation. There are only five remaining rhino species and the AAZK has projects for all species.

 

The Peoria Zoo has two male African White Rhinos Leo and Harris. If you enjoy bowling and want to help rhino conservation then get a team together for fund raising and fun.

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Now in Cantonese: POACHED! Tragic story of Dr. Fowld's heroic attempt to save a rhino

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Plan to sell rhino horn

Plan to sell rhino horn | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

South African conservationists have unveiled a plan to sell rhino horns legally and directly to Chinese pharmaceutical companies, The Star reported on Friday.

 

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/07/13/plan-to-sell-rhino-horn-report ;

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Wildlife Margrit's comment, July 18, 2012 4:51 PM
Agreed! The comment (below) by Roger Porter is particularly troubling, it makes the rhino sound like a commodity (which I forget it's being viewed us such) to be experimented with... such a loosy-goosy plan is frightening.

"Let's try it out for five years and see what impact it has," Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife's former conservation planning chief Roger Porter said.
Rhino Queem's comment, July 19, 2012 10:58 AM
I also talked by e-mail with Brian Sandberg and Mike Rainy this weekend about the proposed approach, so I would say that I do not favor the idea in general. It is just not carefully considered.
Wildlife Margrit's comment, July 19, 2012 12:25 PM
thanks for that follow up!
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Save the Rhinos Saturday at the Jacksonville Zoo Florida

Save the Rhinos Saturday at the Jacksonville Zoo Florida | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens hosts its third annual Save the Rhinos event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at its Great Lawn and Plains of East Africa at 370 Zoo Parkway, a half-mile east of Interstate 95.
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Rhino poaching mastermind denied bail

Rhino poaching mastermind denied bail | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Suspected rhino poaching mastermind Joseph Nyalunga, has been denied bail.

 

The former police officer, and seven co-accused appeared at the Whiteriver Magistrate Court this morning. Nyalunga is facing 16 counts of dealing in rhino horn and money laundering.

 

The state argued that if given bail, he could temper with evidence and due to the seriousness of the case, he could miss trial. The state says Nyalungu was arrested for allegedly being involved in rhino poaching, while he was still out on bail for a different case.

 

Nyalunga was arrested in March this year. He was found in possession of four rhino horns and more than R60 000 in cash. On further investigation, police found more than R5 million in one of his three houses and an automated money counter used by banks to count large sums of money.

 

A total of 262 rhinos have been lost to illegal killings since the beginning of the year. 173 people have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

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VIDEO: The Deadly Rhino Horn Trade

South Africa is currently experiencing catastrophic rhino poaching with more than 1200 rhinos dehorned since the beginning of 2008. The numbers of rhino poac...

 

Comment/additions/corrections by Margot Stewart:

 

This video fails on many levels: 

 

1. Jo Shaw blames the increase in demand from Vietnam but this market was grown by criminal syndicates and is a conduit to China. 


2. She mentions its use in TCM, but fails to mention that numerous scientific... studies have proved it has no medicinal benefit. 


3. She talks about controls over rhino stockpiles instead of DESTROYING THEM. 

 

Rhino horn is a bogus substance that is sold by criminals to gullible Asians for huge profits. It is tantamount to fraud.

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Say NO to Rhino Horn Trade: Quotas not a panacea says Brian Sandberg

Dave Crawford oversimplifies a complex matter by criticising Allison Thomson’s opposition to rhino horn trade (Revisit rhino argument, June 29). He correctly quotes improved conservation and decreased poaching for Australia’s saltwater crocodiles, via managed trade. Our Nile crocodile and South America’s vicuna are also good comparatives, but, for qualitative rhino research, they are poor examples.

 

International wildlife crime experts (including Interpol) confirm crocodile and vicuna poaching, like cattle rustling, involves small-time criminal gangs. Conversely, organis ed, multinational syndicates drive rhino crime...

 

Comment by kilo39....

Has the pro-trade lobby considered that multi-billion dollar crime syndicates dictate what happens in the underworld of drugs, arms, human and wildlife trafficking.

 

If they intend to build business relationships with these people they will be drawn into something from which the only return is in a body box, and they will put their own family's lives at risk on top of it.

 

If they try and bypass the syndicates and deal direct with pharmaceutical companies in China/Vietnam for example, they will also find themselves targets for retribution.

 

The only way to save the rhino is for us all as South Africans to say NO MORE horn will depart from this country.

 

We must destroy ALL existing stockpiles and ensure that all future horn acquired through natural mortality is also reduced to ash and given back to the soil.

 

For us to protect our sovereignty, our assets and our pride as a nation, we need to stand together on this call for no trade.

 

True Africans must stand together now and not let the greed of a largely wealthy advantaged group of businessmen try and dictate the future of an animal that is of more value to ALL the people of this country if it is running wild, free and protected by all of us.

 

Trade will only benefit these businessmen and their hangers on, and tokens of community welfare will be given to give the impression that tghe country benefits.

 

No contest really if you consider a wild rhino's power to attract foreign exchange spending tourists in their thousands, coming back year after year.

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, July 18, 2012 3:41 AM
I agree with Brian Sandberg 100%. There cannot be trade or agreements with criminal elements, in any shape or form - where would this end? Trade in our children for sex syndicates, trade in our dogs for skins, trade in drugs, the list cam go on and on. There is only one solution; and that is for us ordinary citizens who truely love our country and it's flora and fauna (and incidently are the people who pay our taxes to keep these people in office) to stand up in a united front and say NO MORE!!! YOU WILL NOT RAPE OUR LAND AND DESTROY OUR ANIMALS - Back off China, Vietnam and all the other low lifes that have vested interests in this destruction and this includes the low life South Africans who are up to their necks in the blood of these majestic mammals!
Wildlife Margrit's comment, July 18, 2012 4:15 PM
Thanks morlyn.lyn for your support. Like you, I feel that legalizing the trade in rhino horn would open a flood gate of illegal activity in other areas and that saving the rhino is largely up to the ordinary citizens in SA to take a stand and say, "Enough already!"