Some interesting sites and articles on the sad state of rhino poaching in South Africa. It’s difficult to grasp how this can continue to happen despite the resources and effort reportedly spent to combat poaching. Even more puzzling is the solution to this international problem.
BBC article “Worst year ever for SA rhino poaching”
National Geographic article “1,000+ Rhinos Poached in 2013: Highest in Modern History”
Website with statistics and information SAVE THE RHINO
SANParks News Mail & Guardian – Africa Best Read
We’ve read of the public and private funding (R5,000,000/yr donated by Unitrans Volkswagen and R232,000,000 donated by Dutch and Swedish postcode lotteries for example) and resources expended to fight rhino poaching but unfortunately didn’t witness this first hand while in Kruger National Park for 9 days. During our limited time in central and southern Kruger we failed to see much of a physical anti poaching presence within the park. If present, it certainly wasn’t overly visible and one would expect that a highly visibile force would contribute to the overall effectiveness of deterring poachers. We also didn’t see or hear any fixed or rotary winged aircraft that based on various sources appear to be loaned or owned and operated by SANParks for anti-poaching efforts as well as other activities. It’s difficult to get an accurate count of the maned and unmanned aircraft available to SANParks personnel at Kruger but it appears Paramount has generously donated a specially equipped Gazelle helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicle with support crew in addition to the aircraft listed on the SANParks site. We attempted to report suspicious activity witnessed on the back road to Mlondozi to SANParks officials who unfortunately did not appear the slightest bit interested and failed to even take down any of the information we provided. A problem of this magnitude surely requires a consistent and consolidated effort that appears yet to be achieved. Best of luck to all who are part of the ongoing challenge to prevent the white rhino from becoming endangered again.