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Four rhinos poached in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi

01/10/2008 09:46:57

Rhino poaching in South Africa - The poacher tells all.

The Van Deventer brothers were arrested in South Africa on charges of poaching rhinoceroses. Having entered into a plea bargain with the state, the brothers received reduced prison sentences. Shortly afterwards, they contacted investigative journalist and Africa Geographic columnist Ian Michler. They wanted to tell their story.

Read the full piece

Upsurge in rhino poaching

Authorities in Southern Africa are concrened after a surge in rhino poaching in 2008 across Southern Africa. Zimbabwe has been the worst afeected, "Since January 2000, approximately 70 rhinos have been killed in the Lowveld conservancies, and the losses are now rapidly mounting," said Raoul du Toit, Lowveld rhino conservation project manager for the Lowveld Conservancies. "About 20 rhinos were shot in the Lowveld during 2008.

Zimbabwe rhino poachers released

Kwa Zulu Natal wildlife (EKZNW) rangers discovered the carcass of a white rhino while on a routine patrol in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

September 2008. Acting on an established protocol, one field ranger approached the carcass and saw that the horns had been cleanly removed.

Four carcasses
EKZNW staff, accompanied by a South African Police Service (SAPS) team went out to the site and began the examination of the carcass which appeared to be that of an adult female. When the group examined the tracks of the animal they found a further two carcasses - an adult female and a sub-adult calf about 200 metres away, A fourth carcass lay about 30 metres beyond this.

Horns removed
The horns of all four animals had been cleanly removed with a sharp instrument indicating that some one with considerable experience had been at work. After a thorough examination of the area and a search for any clues, the group left the site under guard to protect the carcasses from scavengers.

Remote terrain
Postmortems conducted the next day by the EKZN W veterinary surgeon revealed that all four animals had been shot with a heavy calibre rifle some five days previously. All four animals appeared to been shot at much the same time and all four lay in very rough and remote terrain covered in very thick bush, a factor that would have masked the sound of the gunshots.

EKZNW staff are working closely with the SAPS on the case and appeal to members of the public who might have any information about this incident to contact the Conservation Manager of Imfolozi Mr Dave Robertson on 035 550 8481, the Wildlife Investigator for the Zululand region Mr Michael Mfuleka on 083 664 1314, or the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife hotline 0800 2121 26

All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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