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May 2013
Contents / home
Disease research in cheetahs
Top awards for NZG research
Ragged-tooth shark released
Holiday fun at the zoo
Knysna seahorse pampering
Emma the lioness
11th ICEE comes to Africa
Exhibit draws large crowds
Scifest Africa 2013
A kiss from a seal
Farm programme fascinates
Rhino poaching update
Conservation Grapevine
 

Rhino poaching update

As South Africa has the largest number of rhinos in Southern Africa, South Africa is particularly hard hit by the rhino poaching crisis; and numbers keep escalating at an alarming rate.

Statistics indicate that 668 rhinos were poached in 2012, over 60% of these in the Kruger National Park.

 
Rhino poaching has taken on such alarming proportions that we might end up telling our grandchildren about the rhino as if it were a mythical creature.   South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs on 23 May, show that the number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year now stands at 350.

The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of the poaching, with 242 rhino having been killed in the park since the beginning of the year. In the North West province a total of 29 rhino have been poached, while 28 have been poached in Limpopo, 33 in KwaZulu-Natal and 17 in Mpumalanga. The Gauteng province lost its first rhino to poaching this year towards the end of May.

The number of people arrested in relation to rhino poaching has risen from 98 to 106. The majority of these, 101, were at the level of poacher, with the rest being receivers.

Rhino conservation at the NZG

To heed the call for greater awareness about rhino poaching, the NZG has introduced 'Rhino Conservation' as an educational activity that is offered by the education department at the zoo.

The aim of the Rhino Conservation lesson is to raise awareness about the importance of conserving our rhinos and the threat of poaching, which can lead to the extinction of our rhinos. The lesson is not only reserved for school children; it has been integrated in most activities in the zoo. The night tour guides also alert their groups to the rhino poaching crisis when they move to a rhino enclosure.

Rhino poaching statistics

South Africa 2010 2011 2012 2013
Kruger National Park (SANParks) 146 252 425 242
Marakele National Park (SANParks) 0 6 3 0
Gauteng 15 9 1 1
Limpopo 52 74 59 28
Mpumalanga 17 31 28 17
North West 57 21 77 29
Eastern Cape 4 11 7 0
Free State 3 4 0 0
KwaZulu-Natal 38 34 66 33
Western Cape 0 6 2 0
Northern Cape 1 0 0 0
  333 448 668 350

Rhino poaching arrests statistics

South Africa - Arrests 2013 2012 2011 2010
Kruger National Park 50 73 82 67
Marakele National Park 0 0 0 0
Gauteng 3 26 16 10
Mpumalanga 6 66 73 16
Eastern Cape 0 0 2 7
Limpopo 20 43 34 36
North West 8 32 21 2
Free State 0 6 0 0
KwaZulu-Natal 19 20 4 25
Western Cape 0 0 0 2
Northern Cape 0 1 0 0
Total 106 267 232 165

By Belinda Mokhanda, NZG Intern


 
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Zoo and Aquarium Visitor