The Reality of Rhino Poaching

The reality of rhino poaching is increasing at an alarming rate and the statistics are astonishing. The senseless killing of Rhino has exploded in South Africa during the last 5 to 6 years. The statistics are increasing daily. The largest amount of poaching occurs in the Kruger National Park. Other game reserves and private game lodges throughout South Africa are also targets.

The rhino poaching syndicates are growing at a startling rate. The problem occurs mainly due to the Kruger National Park boarding on a few other African countries. Illegal immigrants are constantly streaming across the border, carrying automatic and semi-automatic firearms and ammunition with the sole purposing of killing the endangered rhino species for merely the horn. The horn is then sold on the black market for phenomenal amounts of money. The fetching price of rhino horn is estimated at between $60,000 and $82,000 per kilogram.

Rhino horn is thought to have various so-called healing powers and is a huge component of tradition Chinese medicine. It is illegally smuggled out of South Africa to Vietnam, China, Thailand and other East Asia countries by the poachers. Various negotiation attempts by the South African government and Vietnam, China and other East Asia countries have been made to curb the ruthless slaughter of these animals. Negotiations between South Africa and Thailand have as yet not commenced.

Thousands of kilometers of land need to be patrolled by the park rangers. Assistance is given by the South African Police Service, to attempt to curb the poaching problem. Unfortunately, the distances are so vast and manpower is limited, which makes it virtually impossible to know where the next strike will take place. Gladly arrests are made, with serious consequences to the poachers. Over and above the confiscation of the horns and weapons; severe penalties and in some cases even imprisonment are imposed.

The Humane Society International (HIS) is working hard to impose stricter international and domestic regulations to safeguard the rhino population. Additionally, the main objective is to persuade the Chinese Medical Board that rhino horn is ineffective and has no medicinal value. The devastating outcome of killing rhinos is threatening survival of the majestic animal.

Various institutions, influential people, celebrities and the general public of South Africa have started the campaign with a slogan of “Save the Rhino.” The campaign needs global support to prevent and curb this futile killing. The campaign has crime-lines available due to the seriousness of the matter. Please stop the meaningless killing of the Endangered Rhino!” Rhino poaching is a sad reality in South Africa.

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