Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Information & discussion on the Rhino Poaching Pandemic
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Lisbeth
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Lisbeth » Fri May 29, 2020 10:54 am

All very obvious.
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Klipspringer » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:12 pm

https://www.getaway.co.za/travel-news/o ... onal-park/

Orphaned baby rhino rescued in Kruger National Park
Posted on 13 July 2020

SANParks and the Jock Safari Lodge Environmental Monitoring Unit worked quickly to rescue an orphaned rhino calf from poachers, a herd of elephants and a pride of lions. The disorientated male calf was found wandering alone on a tourist road in the south of the Kruger National Park.

The calf, who is estimated to be between six and eight months old, was spotted by pure chance by a member of JEMU, the Environmental Monitoring Unit of Jock Safari Lodge, who was on his way to the Concession.

Owned and managed by the non-profit Caleo Foundation, Jock Safari Lodge was the first private concession within the Kruger National Park. Over the past 20 years Jock has worked closely with SANParks in support of various conservation initiatives, including the protection of endangered species such rhinos.

When he was found, the calf was clearly in distress, wandering around on his own just off a main tourist road. Rhino mothers very rarely leave their calves, which indicated that the mother was most likely already dead. The Kruger National Park Regional Ranger was immediately alerted to the baby rhino, who instantly assembled a Reaction Team in a combined effort to save the orphaned calf.

The rhino calf was however moving deeper into the bush and fearing that the Reaction Team might not find the calf if visual was lost, the JEMU member started tracking the baby rhino on foot. After about 2km, the calf suddenly came into contact with a herd of about 15 elephants. The elephants were aggressive and repeatedly charged towards the baby rhino with the obvious intent to kill it. Supported by a Kruger Park official that caught up with him, they distracted the herd by shouting and clapping hands to draw attention away from the rhino calf.

Clearly dazed and confused, the baby rhino continued to follow the elephants, with the aggressive matriarch charging continuing, placing the calf in grave danger.

After several charges, the calf fortunately ran off into another direction, where he was later found standing next to the carcass of his mother. The mother had been killed by poachers and her horns had been removed. She was left to die, unable to provide for her baby or defend the vulnerable calf.

There was a flurry of activity, not only with the elephants in hot pursuit of the calf, but by now there were several lions very close to the carcass, making several advances on the calf.

The lions spotted the JEMU member and left the calf to stare down the JEMU member with growls and tail whipping. The team retreated to a large termite mound, where they communicated a new GPS Coordinate to the Reaction Team and kept lock on the baby rhino until the helicopter had visual on the site.

Instinctively, the exhausted baby rhino gave one last chase with the arrival of the chopper, closely followed by an enraged elephant cow. Thanks to his excellent flying skills, the helicopter pilot managed to separate the calf from the herd of elephants to give the vet the opportunity to dart the baby.

Image
Don English SANParks Regional Ranger with the rhino calf in the helicopter. Image credit: Supplied

After a few minutes, the calf was tranquillised, giving space for the Reaction Team to move in and perform vital lifesaving first-aid on the baby. A drip was inserted to treat its obvious dehydration and the calf was safely transferred by helicopter to a sanctuary a team were on standby to meet the precious new arrival.

The baby rhino was taken into the ICU for monitoring and to receive vital fluids through the line that was administered in the field earlier that day. The calf was assessed for wounds, but apart from lion scratch marks, he seemed to have escaped relatively unscathed.

The calf was clearly very traumatised after its ordeal and the sanctuary team spent the first night in the enclosure with him to monitor his progress.

In a recent update, it was reported that the calf has accepted the bottle of specialised, formulated milk and is drinking about 16 litres per day. He remains in a small enclosure and is still on a drip to monitor his vitals and organs. To recover from severe trauma like this, the first 24 to 72 hours are the most critical and it is therefore estimated that he should have a good chance of survival.

Having survived all of this, he’s been named Nhlanhla, ‘the lucky one’ in local Shangaan language.

Watch below to see snippets of his rescue and how he is doing:




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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Richprins » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:47 pm

Well done to all involved! ^Q^ \O

Lucky indeed, compared to the calf lost at Crocodile Bridge this week. :-(
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by RogerFraser » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:57 pm

^Q^ \O Well done

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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Lisbeth » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:15 pm

Not an easy rescue :shock: Good that they insisted ^Q^ ^Q^
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Richprins » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:49 am

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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Klipspringer » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:50 pm

https://www.environment.gov.za/mediarel ... gdecreases

Rhino poaching decreases by more than half in first half of 2020
31 July 2020


Rhino poaching has decreased by almost 53% in the first six months of 2020, with 166 animals being killed for their horns across the country since the beginning of the year.

During the first six months of 2019, 316 rhino had been poached in South Africa.

“After a decade of implementing various strategies, and campaigning against ever increasing rhino poaching by local poachers recruited and managed by crime syndicates, efforts are paying off,” said the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy. “We have been able to arrest the escalation of rhino losses.”

The Minister said with the Covid-19 associated countrywide law enforcement measures to restrict movement the decline in rhino poaching compared to the same period last year is striking. This reprieve was specifically welcome in the Kruger National Park where during April, no rhino were killed in the Intensive Protection Zone for the first time in almost ten years.

Between the start of the Lockdown on 27 March 2020 until the end of June 2020, 46 rhino were poached across the country. Of these, 14 rhino were poached during April, 13 in May and 19 in June.

In the Kruger National Park, 88 rhino were poached in the first six months of 2020. As the lockdown restrictions have gradually been lifted so the rhino poaching incidents have slowly increased.

Between January and June, 38 suspected rhino poachers have been arrest in the KNP and 23 firearms confiscated, while 57 suspects have been arrested during joint SANParks ECI /SAPS operations outside of the KNP and 18 firearms recovered.

Despite attempts to smuggle rhino horn valued at around R115 million through O R Tambo International Airport in the first two weeks of July 2020, the decrease in rhino poaching can also be attributed to the disruption of the supply chain resulting from the national travel restrictions, including limitations placed on movement across the country.

“The diligence of SARS customs officials and members of the Green Scorpions that resulted in the consignments being uncovered, and the resulting arrest by the Hawks of a shipping agent, is a prime example of the excellent relationship and teamwork between departments and entities to stamp out the illicit trade in rhino horn, and other wildlife products,” said the Minister.

Notwithstanding the severe interruptions of operations during the lockdown period the performance data relating to rhino-related prosecutions, indicated that a total of 23 accused were convicted. During the reporting period, January to June 2020, the National Prosecuting Authority managed to, not only obtain convictions in 15 cases, but maintained a remarkable conviction rate of 100%. In addition to these high conviction rates, lengthy sentences were also imposed by the courts.

In celebration of World Ranger Day today, the Minister paid tribute to the men and women whose commitment to protecting the country’s natural heritage, sometimes at the expense of their own safety.

“Our rangers have remained at the forefront of the battle against poaching, despite the National Lockdown, contributing to the decrease in poaching. In this time, rangers have had to face not only the threats posed by poachers, but they, and their families, have also had to deal with the danger of contracting Covid-19,” said the Minister.

World Ranger Day, which is supported by the International Rangers Federation, is held annually to commemorate those rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and to celebrate the commitment of rangers who battle poaching in protected areas on a daily basis.

To support the efforts of rangers, the Department, in collaboration with the provincial conservation and parks authorities, the private sector and NGO’s, continues to implement the decisions of the Rhino Lab with the latest initiative focusing on demarcating specific wildlife zones to ensure that additional resources are directed to high risk areas. The Department is also in the process of establishing the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Centre, which is aimed at coordinating and improving the reactive and proactive response to rhino poaching and other wildlife crime. It has begun to consolidate rhino protection efforts across the country, standardising and boosting tactical level anti-poaching and introducing integrated information-led enforcement.

This work further strengthens the essential collaboration with the South African Police Service, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS), the Department of Justice, and other sectors of the security forces to gather, analyse and share intelligence on wildlife trafficking so that the international syndicate-related crimes can be effectively dealt with.

“The dedication of essential staff, particularly our rangers, during this time is to be commended. Your hard work, and the support of your families, has not gone unnoticed,” said the Minister.



Below is a graphic depicting the statistics for 2020:

Image



Enquiries:

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Editor’s note:


The following is noteworthy convictions were achieved between January and June 2020:


S v Jimmy Mashopane: was the second rhino prosecution finalized in the High Court. He was convicted of 10 counts of illegal hunting of rhino’s, 5 counts of theft, 2 counts of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of a prohibited firearm, cruelty to animals and money laundering in regard to 14 horns. He was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment.

S v A Mathebula and Shadrack Zitha: they were convicted on charges of illegal hunting of 1 rhino, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Accused 1 was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and accused 2 to 18 years imprisonment.

S v EE Matlombe: was convicted on charges of trespassing in a National Park, possession of a dangerous weapon with the intent to commit crime, being in the country illegally, possession of a unlicensed firearm and ammunition. He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.

S v VA Ngoveni: was convicted on charges of being in the country illegally, trespassing in a National Park, possession of a prohibited firearm (no serial number), unlawful possession of ammunition and the possession of a dangerous weapon with the intent to commit crime and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.



The following are the high-profile cases currently enrolled:

1. State v Groenewald and 8 others: Trial date: 1 – 12 February 2021 (Pretoria High Court)

2. State v Ras and 9 others: Trial date: 30 Jan to 3 March 2023 (Pretoria High Court)

3. State v Gwala and others: Partly heard trial date: 17 & 18 August 2020 case (Mtubatuba Regional Court)

4. State v Nyalungu and 9 others: Provisional date for trial: 27 August 2020. (Nelspruit Regional Court).

5. State v Petrus Sydney Mabuza & 2 other: New trial date awaited (High Court, Mbombela)

6. State v Petrus Sydney Mabuza, Jospeh Nyalunga & others: New trial date awaited (High Court, Mbombela)

7. State v R Landela & 1 other: Trial date: 11 September 2020 (Skukuza Regional Court)

8. State v M Swanepoel & 1 other: Partly heard trial date: 14 August 2020 (Pretoria Regional Court)

9. State v M Le Roux & 2 others: Trial date: 14 September 2020 (Standerton Regional Court)

10. State v S v Seliwa & Others: Trial date: 23 November 2020 (East rand Regional Court)

11. The State v Yu Chih Huang and Shuihua Chen: Trial date: 28 July 2020 (Kempton Park Regional Court)

12. The State v Steven Westley Cerasoli: Provisional date: 15 July 2020 (Kempton Park Regional Court)

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Lisbeth
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Lisbeth » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:02 pm

Several months of lockdown and partly lockdown (only intra-province travel) might have helped too and we are still waiting for the total numbers of rhinos left in the KNP O**
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Richprins » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:37 am

:yes: Lis!
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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017-2020

Post by Peter Betts » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:55 am

Richprins wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:47 pm
Well done to all involved! ^Q^ \O

Lucky indeed, compared to the calf lost at Crocodile Bridge this week. :-(
With Don involved it was always going to be a Success

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