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Kruger rhinos' final chance

By Paul Robinson - 20 Sep 2014 8:53:11 GMT
Kruger rhinos' final chance

The black rhino and these white Ceratotherium simum, from the Kruger National Park are in great danger. The road they are on is the way to extinction. With the Mozambique border just a few miles away, their horns could be on their way to Vietnam in a matter of hours ; White rhino image; Credit: © Shutterstock

With the arrest of an Indian horn trader, rhinoceros conservationists make steps towards preventing the poaching of all the species. More significant is the loss of 2014 rhino from South Africa alone this year. Rhinose Foundation, from the republic, are among the most significant movers among those stopping the poaching. Red polypropylene horns , meant to attach to RSA car hoods, hardly seem to do them justice, as they also bring Vietnamese officials and celebrities to see the killing at first hand.

The idea is to have rhino ambassadors in the focal point of rhino trading. China and other countries with Chinese traditional medicine are the sink for rhino horn, but Vietnam is presently the prime importer of illegal pieces of horn, cut up to fit in normal luggage. The 8 members of the Vietnamese delegation have just arrived in South Africa for World Rhino Day on 22nd September, including customs officials such as Nguyen Hung Anh and pop star Hong Nhung. They describe the ancient beliefs by which powdered horn is supposed to be drunk as a detoxifying agent to “cure” cancer or almost anything else.

Let’s hope stiffer sentences for traders in Vietnam and paramilitary action against the violent poachers in Mozambique and South Africa slow down the loss of animals. There is limited time for action before the continuous poaching reduces the population to zero. Elephant and rhino are now reaching the levels beyond which it will be impossible to recover in most areas, and for most rhino species. International cooperation is the only possible way to reverse the ridiculous situation. Sick people taking useless substances to make much-loved animals extinct seems a huge joke. But it’s not.

Our last article describing this horror was in July when only 500 horns had been taken and elephant were being threatened particularly harshly. This describes the mood in South Africa’s greatest National Park:- Elephant wars in Kruger. Rhinose Foundation’s busy pages can be found here in ”Rhinose Foundation Initiatives”.