our magnificent rhino

quite frightening & sad to say the least….. last year more than 333 rhino’s were killed in south africa & the total already stands at more than 159 this year. with each year having risen considerably since 2008 it would appear that at the moment the poachers are definitely winning the war when it comes to rhino poaching. such a scary reality. but the part i find the scariest is what the rhino horn is being used for….. according to chinese myth it has ‘magical powers’ that can cure a wide array of maladies from the common fever (anyone heard of paracetamol???) to ‘devil possession’ (????) and recently some nutcase in china published that it can cure cancer!!!! these are all BLATANT lies & have been proven too be lies over & over again by rigorous analysing by highly regarded medical companies & scientists but by the increase in the demand for this poor animal’s horn it would appear no-one is listening. then again i have to admit that whilst researching a bit of this i realised that all the articles i found were all published in english & definitely aimed at the western world…. perhaps a few mandarin articles wouldn’t go amiss!!!

i found this picture on the web…. horrific i know but it brings home just how BARBARIC this trade is!

the savage killing of a mother rhino

fact: the rhino horn is essentially the same fabric as fingernails – being made from agglutinated hair & nothing else.

the problem is that these poaching teams are extremely sophisticated, very well armed & highly funded – including private helicopters etc… making it difficult for the anti-poaching groups to compete with this organised crime – which is essentially what it is! apparently a rhino horn fetches anything from R175k to R250k with the poacher on the ground being paid approx R25k per horn. apparently prices fetched in mozambique are the highest which doesn’t help matters with the kruger national park bordering mozambique.

these were some of the local recruits we saw patrolling the area on bicycle & seriously armed. apparently these guys are born & bred in this area & know the terrain like the back of their hands.



our ranger from jock’s safari lodge as well as ‘tom from thompsons’ were both telling us that the government has now deployed the national army to help with this matter. they are taking this matter very seriously. the army now patrol the borders of the park with orders to shoot before asking questions. we were also told that a special task force has been created from the old ‘rekkies’ (some of the most disciplined & feared soldiers in south african history) to take these poachers head-on. apparently they have already arrested 134 poachers this year & killed 27.

frightening stuff.