769 Rhinos killed so far this year!
RHINO POACHING AT CRISIS LEVEL
For retired army general Johan Jooste, the fight against rhino poaching in the vast Kruger National Park (KNP) is far from being won.
He has seen many a rhino carcass left behind by poachers since his appointment in 2013 to help save the endangered species.
"Are we winning the war? I would say not yet...the war in the bush is only 20% of the fight against rhino poaching," Jooste told a group of journalists and a Vietnamese delegation visiting the world famous park on a trip led by the Rhinos Foundation.
"It's like defending a country with a 3 000km boundary," Jooste said.
He is in charge of at least 400 rangers who patrol the 20 000 square kilometre park, assisted by a helicopter wing and several special rangers.
The SA National Defence Force and the police have also been roped in to assist in curbing poaching.
Rhino poaching at the park has reached crisis levels since 2007 when demand for the horn in Asia gained momentum.
SOUTH AFRICANS URGED TO WORK TOGETHER
The Department of Environmental Affairs calls on all South Africans to work together to combat rhino poaching.
The call for communities to embrace the rhino as an important contributor to tourism and as a heritage icon in South Africa comes as the number of rhino poaching for their horns since January 2014 increased to 769, with 227 people arrested countrywide.
The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa, having lost 489 rhino so far this year. A total of 103 rhino have been poached in Limpopo, 65 in KwaZulu-Natal, 47 in North West and 43 in Limpopo.
Rhino are part of South Africa’s shared heritage. The rhino is a key member of the Big Five and part of the reason millions of tourists travel to South Africa annually. The influx of tourist to enjoy the country’s natural heritage contributes not only to job creation and benefit for communities living adjacent to national and provincial parks, and private game reserves and lodges, but to the economy as a whole.
As the country approaches the World Rhino Day on 22 September and Heritage Day on 24 September, the Department of Environmental Affairs calls on all communities to join hands in ensuring the survival of not only the rhino as an important ecosystem contributor, but also of the plants and other wild animals being decimated by international crime syndicates.
WORLD RHINO DAY
Remember next Monday 22 September is World Rhino Day. Every little bit helps. Rhino bands, stickers, survival bracelets and more rhino goodies are available at www.stoprhinopoaching.com Proceeds go to help protecting rhinos.
In the month of September, Tyger Valley College in the east of Pretoria is actively campaigning for our endangered Rhino population. On Saturday the 20th of September there will be an
OFF- ROAD TRAIL RUN from 8 am.
You can do 5KM, 10KM or 20KM through the beautiful setting away from the city noise!
PRE-ENTER TODAY ONLINE at www.tygervalleycollege.co.za or www.xdirt.co.za OR LINE ENTRIES OPEN AT 06H30 ON SATURDAY.
FIRST 500 RUNNERS WILL RECEIVE T-SHIRTS J
Funds raised will be donated to Stoprhinopoaching.com
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