Rhino Poaching 2017

Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:06 pm

Back to basics part of KNP anti-poaching teams’ game plan
The anti-poaching teams working together in- and outside the Kruger National Park recently had a huge success on one day. Why are they succeeding in this relentless fight?
1 day ago

Elize Parker

SKUKUZA – On Friday January 13, anti-poaching operations in and outside the Kruger National Park (KNP) led to 11 suspected poachers being arrested.

The SANParks Rangers Corps, SAPS, and the Hawks took part in the operations.

Six suspects were arrested in the Malalane and Hectorspruit areas outside the KNP.

Satara rangers arrested three suspected rhino poachers.

In the Stolsnek area, rangers arrested two men after discovering a freshly poached carcass.

Various firearms, ammunition, and poaching equipment were recovered.

One of the suspects arrested in Hectorspruit is a police reservist, and one a former traffic official.

KNP’s head ranger, Mr Ken Maggs, said losing even a single rhino or elephant to poachers was one too many.
Ken Maggs

“We win battles along the way but the so-called war is still far from won. We are, however, beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Maggs.

Referring to the successes outside the park, he explained that communities play a big role in assisting KNP rangers.

“We need people on the outside also to get involved. We need to be clearing the park from the outside.”

Far fewer rhinos were poached in the KNP in 2016 than in 2015.

It is especially noticeable in the southern part of the KNP. During December, poaching was signficantly down compared with the same month in 2015.

“There were a few real game changers. We stopped doing things the same way, went back to basics, and worked in a disciplined way, striving to improve every day. No single technology or tactic is likely to work on its own and it is generally the sum of all of that that will make the difference in the end. We need a combination of force multipliers to have exponential growth in our successes.

“It is a relentless fight, every day, all day. The threat goes on and on. A few factors will keep on counting in the long run. Our alliance partnerships are critical.”

He pointed out that despite the steady rise in poaching activities, the actual number of rhinos poached has decreased.

“If you speak to the SAPS they will tell you this is organised crime at its best. We are doing well, considering what we are up against. Going forward this year, we will be honing our skills. Our commitment and dedication from our rangers are intact, but we understand the impact that the ongoing anti-poaching battles are having on them and their families. We rate our rangers as the best in Africa and will strive to keep this so,” he concluded.

http://lowvelder.co.za/369794/back-to-b ... game-plan/

(Ken Maggs is an absolute hero! :yes: But not head ranger, he does other stuff! )

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:44 pm

Richprins wrote:“We win battles along the way but the so-called war is still far from won. We are, however, beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Maggs.

Richprins wrote:Far fewer rhinos were poached in the KNP in 2016 than in 2015.

Those two statements give at least a bit of hope for the rhinos. Hope this is the trend that will persists and improve.

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:44 am

Unfortunately Mel for the last part, I think there were fewer poached in Kruger for the sole reason there are so many less and more distance needs to be covered to find them. O/ O/

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:23 am

Of greatest concern is that 379 of the Kruger rhino were poached in the Intensive Protection Zone in the south, which defeats the object. And suggests inside involvement, IMO.

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:19 pm

Facebook Post:
Heritage Protection Group - HPG.
2 hrs
Nadat inligting ontvang is is daar vandag toegeslaan op die plaas van 'n welgestelde sakeman van Lephalale deur Stu bedreigde spesieseenheid sapd, departement van omgewingsake,Sanparks en HPG. Verskeie renosterdele is gevind oa pote,sterte,vleis, velle ens waarvan dna geneem is. Die vermoede is dat sewe renosters onwettig doodgeskiet is. Die persoon verskyn Maandag in Lephalale hof

A well known business man from Lephalale was arrested today after information was received that seven rhinos were shot, killed and slaughtered on his farm. HPG, Sanparks and the Saps rhino task team were on the scene and found rhino hides, meat etc. It is believed that the rhinos were shot illegally.

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Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:39 pm

Thanks, Rog, but a bit unclear? Why shoot rhino on your own farm?

But I'm pretty sure that is what is happening sometimes, understandably, as owners succumb to selling horn on the black market, therefore destroying their herds, saving money on security costs.

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:56 am


Lawyers for suspect in rhino ‘slaughterhouse’ case file urgent bail application

Lawyers acting for a wealthy Limpopo game farmer arrested on Friday have filed an urgent bail application to have their client released from police custody in Lephalale‚ where he faces serious charges under the biodiversity act.

Antonio Xavier Freitas‚ 55‚ appeared in the Lephalale Magistrate’s Court on Monday and was formally charged with unlawful hunting of rhinos without a permit‚ and purchasing and possessing rhino without a permit.

After the prosecution read the charges‚ Freitas’ attorney filed an urgent bail application. The bail application resumes when the court opens on Tuesday. According to police spokesman Motlafela Mojapelo‚ the state will oppose the application and under the law can hold the suspect for seven more days pending further investigations.

More arrests are expected soon.

Acting on a month-long investigation‚ members of the Limpopo Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit raided Freitas’ Steenbokpan farm‚ Ringbult‚ and seized body parts of at least seven dead rhino‚ rhino skins‚ and what is believed to be rhino meat‚ from a refrigerated cold-room.

The lower portions of eight rhino legs and seven rhino tails were removed as evidence. The animals were allegedly transported to the farm without transport permits last November‚ and illegally slaughtered without necessary hunting permits. The source of the rhinos is still under investigation.

Rhinos are a protected species governed by strict regulations under the Threatened and Protected Species (TOPS) regulations. Police also claim to have received information the animals’ horns were loaded onto a helicopter which was seen taking off from the property.

According to an investigating officer Freitas a naturalised South African citizen is of Portuguese descent‚ and arrived in South African about 37 years ago.

-TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:03 am

:evil: @#$ (0!) . . . . . . O/

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:18 am

Possible decline in rhino poaching

According to Oscap founder Allison Thompson, her organisations’ statistics stand at 1 105 rhinos killed during 2016, and 115 so far in 2017.
16 hours ago

A local NGO, Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching (Oscap), has revealed a possible further decline in the numbers of rhinos poached in South Africa for 2016, reports The Citizen.

According to Oscap founder Allison Thompson, her organisations’ statistics stand at 1 105 rhinos killed during 2016, and 115 in 2017. The release came on the back of the second postponement in a week by the department of environmental affairs (DEA) of its report on the progress of the implementation of the “Integrated Strategic Management Approach of Rhinoceros” or, in layman’s terms, what progress is being made in the fight against rhino poaching.

With rhino poaching having shown a decline in 2015 to 1 175 from the 2014 all-time high of 1 215, it only remains for Environment Minister Edna Molewa to officially inform the country what the status quo is around the practice.

“We had to postpone our briefing owing to the fact the slot we had wanted to use on Thursday was a Cabinet briefing slot,” DEA spokesperson Albi Modise said yesterday. “The Friday slot we thought could be used did not work. We are still identifying a suitable slot which we will communicate soon.”

Modise said the DEA aimed to hold the briefing this week. A fuming Thompson said it had been nine months since Molewa’s last briefing, in May.

“With the amount of crime and corruption being reported by Ipid of Saps and Hawks involvement at OR Tambo International Airport, which is the minister’s choice exit port for their proposed rhino horn export trade, I am sure that a press conference at this time would be a tad uncomfortable for all concerned, not least Minister of State Security David Mahlobo, who is under the spotlight following the recent Al Jazeera documentary,” Thompson said.

It was recently revealed by the Hawks the “nail salon” Mahlobo had been visiting was under investigation for being a brothel. “When the minister decided to change the regularity of the stats from monthly to quarterly, she stated that they did not have the capacity to do monthly stats.

“But it appears that they sure have capacity when it comes to drafting regulations for opening a domestic trade in rhino horn. “This shows their priorities seem somewhat skewed,” Thompson added.

– Caxton News Service

Read original story on citizen.co.za

http://lowvelder.co.za/lnn/249525/possi ... o-poaching

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:37 pm

Staff assaulted and rhino slaughtered in animal orphanage attack

February 22, 2017 by Matthew Savides

Staff at a KwaZulu-Natal rhino orphanage are reeling in shock after a woman was sexually assaulted and two rhino killed in a horrific poaching-related incident this week.

In a brutal illustration of the severity of poaching‚ a heavily-armed gang hit the Findimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage – at the Thula Thula reserve in northern KZN – on Monday night‚ tying up staff and killing the two rhino in front of them.

In the process‚ one woman was sexually assaulted and other rhino caregivers beaten. They are receiving medical and psychological care.

Over the course of a few hours‚ the two rhino‚ Impi and Gugu‚ were attacked while the staff were being held hostage. One was killed outright‚ and the other had to be euthanised the following morning because of the severity of her injuries.

The pair were due to be dehorned and moved out of the orphanage in a week’s time – leading to a belief that there was an element of an inside job involved.

Karen Trender‚ who runs the orphanage‚ told TMG Digital on Wednesday that security was being beefed up and plans to move the staff members and rhino to a new‚ secret location were well underway.

“If you work in this game and work in a facility like this… it’s a constant concern. It’s something that’s on everybody’s mind at all times. We always understood and worked around that they’re coming for the rhino; that if you don’t interfere they’ll leave you alone. They will just get horn and get out.

“But this was totally different. The staff did exactly what they were trained to do. But still they were attacked‚” she said.

Explaining what happened on Monday night‚ Trendler said the gang overpowered the armed guard on duty‚ tied him up and extracted information from him. Then‚ having gotten information from the guard‚ timed their attack on the facility to perfection.

“Grabbed some of the staff and held them hostage. They then tied them up; while they were tied up there was harassment and assault‚” she said.

Trender said everyone associated with the facility was taking strain.

“It’s a double trauma for them. As somebody who works for rhino to see the animal you nurtured from brink of death as a result of poaching…to have it killed in front of you is beyond brutal. Then there’s the double whammy of the assault‚” she said.

Police were on the scene on Wednesday‚ with dogs in tow. There were reports of two arrests‚ but this could not immediately be confirmed.

– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE