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Rhino horn trade being reopened will completely go against CITES recommendations
Rhino Poaching Numbers Have Fallen For The First Time In A Decade According To The Department Of Environmental Affairs In South Africa.
The poaching figures were released a day after the South African High Court dismissed the government’s application to appeal an earlier ruling lifting a moratorium on the domestic sale of rhino horns.
South Africa’s national rhino horn trade being reopened will completely go against CITES which urges all member countries to adopt comprehensive legislation and enforcement controls, including internal trade restrictions and penalties, aimed at reducing illegal trade in rhino horn, It will make it much harder for already overstretched law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal rhino horn trafficking.
Although South Africa reports small decrease in rhino poaching, Africa-wide, 2015 was still the worst on record.
In Namibia, 80 rhinos were lost to poachers in 2015 – up from 25 in 2014 and just 4 in 2013. In Zimbabwe, 50 animals were killed – more than double the previous year’s total. These three countries are home to nearly 95 per cent of all remaining African rhinos.
South Africa’s environment minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday that 1,175 dead rhinos were discovered during the country’s annual census of poaching activities - 40 less than the 2014 record of 1,215.
During 2015‚ 124 rhino were translocated from the Kruger park to protect them from poachers. “These translocations to protected areas will continue in March 2016‚” Molewa said.
“A lot of work was done and that spike was actually averted. It is undeniable that this is because of the efforts of our people in particular the concerted efforts of law enforcement and security agencies,” Molewa said.
A total of 317 arrests related to rhino poaching at the Kruger National Park were made last year‚ and a total of 188 firearms were seized at the park in the year.
According to TRAFFIC data, Africa-wide rhino poaching totals reached 1,299 animals in 2014. The latest figure from South Africa means the continent-wide total in 2015 was at least 1,305.
Molewa has been reported to not giving up so easily. Her and her legal team will be going to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and once they have filed their application to appeal, the moratorium will go back into effect. Let's hope that DEA win this time..
None so special as those who have everything to lose:
The Rhino Poaching Scourge in South Africa has made international news because of its horrific cruelty, and the absolute nonsensical beliefs fuelling it.
The silent victims who have no voice are the almost 100 rhino babies in sanctuaries in South Africa at present. They are the babies whose mothers were targeted in one of most barbaric of all criminal activities – poaching.
Most of the rhino are being poached inside the National Parks of South Africa, but once a baby gets rescued, it is in a kind of no-man’s land, with the rescue centres receiving very little assistance from the Government. It is unlikely that this scenario will change in the near future, so ongoing support of legitimate rescue centres are needed. You can help by donating here, and support us by joining our event page at: WHWF Rhino Orphan Care & Wildlife Projects.
*Pictured above is WHWF delivering desperately needed supplies to The Rhino Orphanage.
One man and his team of dedicated carers are making a difference in the lives of precious rhino babies: Arrie Van Deventer started The Rhino Orphanage in 2012, with the sole aim of looking after and rehabilitating the victims of poaching. It was a world first, and many doubted that it would ever be needed as much as it is right now. But Arrie stuck to his dream, and with the help of his friend Paul Cilliers from Legend Lodges, the dream took a physical form. The Rhino Orphanage is a very special place, because no animal is turned away – Arrie’s love for them runs way too deep.
With Limpopo’s beautiful Hangklip Mountain silently watching over the rhino orphanage in the heart of the African bush, it is difficult to fathom the need for these sanctuaries. Man’s greed seems to be a world apart from there.
The Orphanage is not open to the public, because the aim is to re-wild the babies once they are strong enough. Nobody here wants a petting zoo. Every true animal lover wants the rhinos to be free, wild, happy and safe (with their horns intact like nature intended). It’s just that it is becoming increasingly challenging to get that done. Orphaned baby rhinos are often very weak, severely traumatized and dehydrated, because they refuse to leave their dead or dying mothers. They need intensive care and specialized treatment as soon as possible, and likely for a few months after being rescued.
*Pictured above is Kabelo who is receiving specialized care until he can start the process of being reintroduced to the wild.
As soon as the Rhino Orphan gets a bit stronger, their constant human contact needs to be reduced, so that the human imprint can start fading. This is crucially important if there is any hope of them being truly wild and free again.
Rhino babies are split into different age groups, because they are so strong - they can easily hurt one another when different ages are grouped together. Unfortunately this also means that sometimes a baby can be lonely, having no-one in his age group for company. This is currently the case with Kabelo, a five month old White Rhino baby. Babies like these need more human care than babies in pairs or groups. Lydia is the patient, vocal sheep who befriends every rhino baby who arrives at the orphanage, until it's time for them to become more independent.
The team of carers are currently looking after around 20 rhino babies at the orphanage. The saddest part, Arrie says, is that we are only saving around 10% of the babies who fell victim to having their mothers poached. This means that only one in ten babies are making it to the orphanage to be cared for, the rest are not making it out of the reserves where they die from dehydration, starvation or injuries resulting from the poaching attacks. It is a heart-breaking statistic.
*Pictured above are the orphan Rhinos who are gradually being reintroduced back into the wild.
Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation recently did a special Christmas Fundraising Drive and several supply drops since, for the orphanage. With the generous support of the public, we have been able to supply the orphanage with critically-needed supplies and capital items, to enable them to go about their important work of saving the rhinos. This included a generator for power outages, infra-red lamps to keep the babies warm, oxygen tanks along with desperately needed medical equipment and supplies, a 500 liter water trough perfect for thirsty rhinos, among loads of other necessities, all of which can be viewed on our "How can you help" web page. We managed to tick quite a few of the bigger items needed off the wishlist! This delivery is part of WHWF’s ongoing Project RhinoOrphanCare, and illustrates our commitment to Ethical Conservation. Because the needs of these babies are ongoing, they need continuous support, which we aim to provide to the best of our ability.
Since our last visit, the babies Lunga & Faith have grown into happy little rhinos, mostly spending their days in the bush, free and wild. They could be seen turning their well-fed little butts to our viewing vehicle, as they trotted away from us. It was a heart-warming sight, because they are learning to be rhinos, and will soon not need human assistance any more. Seeing them growing into wild beauties, is why we do what we do. It’s the only way for them to be. And it is what we want for all our precious rhino. We have so much to lose…
Paul Oxton, Founder/Director of Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation would like to thank all who support us in our mission to help our precious Wildlife in need.
*Pictured above are Lunga, Faith and Matthew enjoying their days in the sun while gradually being reintroduced into the wild.
You can become part of #TeamWild, by joining us on our mission to Save Wildlife. You can help by donating on this page and also supporting us on our event page at: WHWF Rhino Orphan Care & Wildlife Projects.