White Rhino grazing at Monate Lodge

Monday, 31 October 2011

Rhino Killer Shot by Police

Call it justice, karma, or rhino relief. A serial rhino killer has been shot and killed by Swaziland police after he shot at them. ‘Lucky’ Maseko was wanted in South Africa for attempted murder, and environmental crimes, including the deaths of at least ten rhinos in the last two years. Swaziland is where he wound up after leaving a trail of death from South Africa, “Swaziland has been targeted because there is low risk here compared to doing the same in SA. The situation will get worse if the country amends the Game Act because criminals from other countries and even locals will know that it is safe to poach in Swaziland. They will use the weak legislation to their advantage,” said a conservation official there. (Source: Swaziland Times)
Maseko was just one of three rhino killers shot dead by Swaziland police. After the shooting of the rhino poachers, two rhino horns, guns and ammunition were recovered. An individual who commits such heinous crimes against human beings repeatedly is known as a serial killer. Will that term ever be extended to include humans that repeatedly cause the deaths of animals, especially if the killer is contributing to the extinction of an entire species? After all, humans are actually just primates and also animals. So what exactly is the difference? Animal poachers who repeatedly kill animals have been known to shoot at conservation rangers sometimes killing them. Shouldn’t the law recognize the relationship between animal destruction and violence against humans in psychopaths and sociopaths and punish them accordingly?
Maseko was listed on the INTERPOL website was wanted. He was also one of South Africa’s most wanted, for various poaching charges and skipping bail. In South Africa he was once caught at a police roadblock with guns near a nature preserve containing rhinos. It was assumed he intended to kill some of them.
Swaziland is a very small country bordered on three sides by South Africa, so it is sort of inside the borders of South Africa. In the 1990s they were losing one rhino  per week due to poaching. Today they might be down to just about 100.

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