RHINO POACHED IN SOUTH AFRICA DURING 2010 = 188 and counting….
Yes, that’s an alarming figure. I’ve just received this information on my mobile via a Rhino Owners Protection Network. Do you realise that 1 Rhino is being poached in South Africa every 1 1/2 days.
But, first let us start at the beginning. I was not even born yet, it was the 1960’s and Rhino were being sold to private landowners for R150.00( at todays conversion of Rand/US$ =$ 20.40) delivered on your property. The neighbours would laugh at anyone so stupid to invest in something as simple as wildlife, but those simple beginnings later escalated into a world-renowned success story of wildlife in South Africa.
Since then White Rhino populations have made such a dramatic comeback, that hunting was once again allowed. Later, and in more recent years, Black Rhino was also relaunched into the hunting industry due to its successful comeback from the mere brink of extinction. Hunting as well as tourism on private land and national parks were to be congratulated on its success. South Africa had to be congratulated on finding a medium to utilize its Rhino resource.
Then came the first signs of poaching during 2009. At first all concerned felt the few reported cases were coincidental and the risk would pass, but since then the situation has only worsened and continued.
So where are we today? What effect has illegal poaching and utilization of Rhino horn had on you the hunter – conservationist, and the future of Rhino in South Africa?
Legal hunting of White Rhino is still allowed in South Africa. There has however been a 1 year national moratorium placed on the sale or export of Rhino horns. This moratorium does not affect trophy hunting, in fact its being put in place to protect legal hunters and to ensure that every legal hunt is conducted properly and that any horn exports are legal.
Darting /Green Hunting of Rhino in South Africa is no longer permitted. This new darting regulation came after the Veterinary Council of South Africa stated that it would officially be unethical for veterinarians to be involved in darting safaris. Green Hunting has been a saviour in meeting the bill of escalating costs in protecting ones Rhino over the past 10 years. This benefit no longer applies to the private land owner who has to fit the bill for anti poaching teams, vehicles, surveillance and management of his/her Rhino population.
You may ask what has Rhino poaching and a problem of this magnitude half way across the world in Africa have to do with you? Everyone of us can make a difference, no matter how small. May it be through creating awareness to others of the poaching problem or ensuring that you as a hunter supports the legal hunting of Rhino by going on safari to legally hunt a Rhino as part of your Big 5 collection.
John X Safaris challenges you or any organization to match our Donation of R500 (ZAR) to the STOP RHINO POACHING DRIVE. They have a very informative site and forms part of Wildlife Ranching South Africa, which is an organization that John X Safaris supports and are very proud to be members of.
Visit www.stoprhinopoaching.com – Add your voice, Support the drive and Donate.