Rhino poaching

YouTube/Kruger Sightings

Rhino poaching: One dead another injured near Cradle of Humankind

A rhino has been killed and another wounded in a poaching attack close to the Cradle of Humankind.

Rhino poaching

YouTube/Kruger Sightings

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve just outside Krugersdorp has delivered the sad news that one of its Rhino had been killed by poachers and another injured.

Located a short distance from the UNESCO heritage site known as the Cradle of Humankind, the park released a statement to the press on Friday confirming the death.

The injured rhino has been sedated and treated and is expected to make a full recovery.

The park’s spokesperson, Jessica Khupe said: “The injured rhino has been darted and is being treated, but we are grateful that she will live.

“We know that we always need to be vigilant. Because of our name, the public knows that we have rhinos in our reserve, which makes them vulnerable. On the other hand, one of the purposes of the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve is to make it easier for residents of South Africa’s most densely populated urban areas to see wild rhinos. Getting to share these wonderful, gentle creatures with the public is something all of us at the reserve care about very deeply, and we have decided that we will not let criminals stop us from doing something that matters so much.”

The park’s location has made it a soft target for poachers in the past. A national road, the R540 runs adjacent to the park and allows easy access for those with nefarious intentions.

The park admitted to growing frustration in their fight against poaching which is driven by the production of black market herbal medicines in Asia. Rhino horn has been conclusively proven to have no medicinal benefit but the market for bogus aphrodisiacs abounds.

“We will need to stay on constant alert if our children’s children are to have a chance to see one of Africa’s most iconic species living free. We will do everything we can to help the authorities to bring these criminals to justice.”

Khupe said that the park would be increasing security going forward for the rest of their herd but would not divulge details for fear of endangering the herd.

“As you can imagine, we cannot divulge any details that would put our animals at risk, but we can assure the public that we will do everything in our power to limit any further poaching related occurrences in the future.”

The effect of rhino poaching in South Africa

According to the Save the Rhino organization incidents of poaching decreased from 2017 to 2018 but the status of wild rhino remains a cause for extreme concern.

Experts say the current poaching crisis began in 2008 driven by organized gangs that decimated the rhino population in Zimbabwe. Since 2012 the number of rhino lost per year has been over the 1000 mark in South Africa every year until it dipped in 2018.

South Africa holds close to 80% of the world’s rhinos and has been hit hardest by poaching criminals.

Those able to help financially are encouraged to donate to the Save the Rhino foundation.