White Rhino grazing at Monate Lodge

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

It’s World Rhino Day

It is World Rhino Day – but with the animals being poached at a rate of more than one a day, there is little to celebrate.
The news on the day set aside to honour one of Africa’s Big Five has been tainted with news that four more rhino have been killed by poachers in KwaZulu-Natal game reserves over the past few weeks.
The Mercury on Thursday reported that two white rhino were shot and dehorned in the wilderness section of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park at the weekend.
At Ndumo Game Reserve, on the province’s northern border with Mozambique, two rhino – one white, one black, were killed this month.
Approached for comment today, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesman, Waheeda Peters, said 24 rhinos had been poached in KZN and 289 nationally since the beginning of the year. Last year 333 rhino were poached.
She could give no information on the latest incidents.
Those battling against rhino extinction are trying to put across a simple message – rhino horn is not medicine. Local animal rights and conservation groups are convinced that having a day dedicated to the fight against poaching is a step in the right direction.
Ethel Horsman of Animal Action said she was glad a light was being shone on the issue. “My organisation is pro-life, so we hate to see any animal so brutally murdered,” she said.
Chris Galliers, conservation project manager at the Wildlife and Environmental Society of SA, said the day would be key in highlighting the situation.
“Especially with the day falling so close to Heritage Day, it is important to acknowledge these animals as part of our heritage,” he said. -Daily News

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