Tag Archives: Rhino

Chinese poachers with $1 million rhino horns face justice

The seven Chinese stood before Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, magistrate Ms Rangarirai Gakanje.

They were not formally charged for contravening Section 45(1) (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act Chapter 20:14 as read with Section 128(b) of the same Act.

The sections criminalise keeping, possessing, selling or disposing of any live specially protected animal, meat or trophy of any such animal.

The magistrate remanded the accused in custody. Prosecuting, Mr Bheki Tshabalala said the accused were found in possession of the rhino pieces.

On 22 December information was received that there were some Chinese nationals at house number 858 Aerodrome, who were suspected to be keeping rhino horns. Police applied for a search warrant and proceeded to the house on Sunday morning whereupon searching they recovered a plastic bag containing several pieces of rhino horn in one of the bedrooms used by Liu,” said Mr Tshabalala.

The prosecutor said several other pieces were found in a cardboard box and some stashed inside a mattress that had been cut for concealment. A digital scale was also recovered, the court revealed. Mr Tshabalala said the pieces weighed 20,98 kg and a veterinary surgeon confirmed that they were genuine rhino horns.

The total value of the pieces is $938 700. Mr Givemore Mvhiringi of Mvhiringi and Associates is representing the accused.

Zeng Dengui (35), Peicon Jang (35), Liu Cheng (23), Yu Xian (25), Yong Zhu (25), Chen Zhiangfu (30) and Qui Jinchang (29) were arrested following a search at their rented house in Aerodrome.

 

Ten rhinos in Kenya died after transfer

Kenya’s wildlife minister apologized for being rude with  his critics, and  sending them to “hell” while he  comes under mounting pressure over the death of 10 rhinos during a botched transfer.

Tourism and Wildlife Minister Najib Balala had directed the comments to those calling for his resignation over the fiasco during a press conference:

“People need explanations about the rhinos… people are angry. I am also angry,” Balala told. “I have emotions and I reacted. I feel let down by my system that did not act quickly to stop the death of the rhinos.”

Kenyans have been outraged after 10 of 11 rhinos being transferred from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East died after the operation.

The 11th was attacked by lions, and is recovering.

Balala has blamed Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) officials involved in the transfer for “negligence”, suspending six senior officials.

An initial enquiry indicated that the rhinos may have become dehydrated and died after drinking saline water in their new habitat.

The scandal intensified when the former chairman of the KWS board, the world-renowned anthropologist Richard Leakey, released a statement revealing that the board had on three prior occasions blocked the transfer.

He said this was due to “a deep concern about the lack of vegetation in the sanctuary that could sustain rhino, and also, the real issue of available and safe water.”

He also indicated that no new KWS board had been set up in the three months since the one he chaired expired, leaving the decision to carry out the translocation entirely up to Balala’s ministry.

The indignant Kenyans demanded via social media to see the horns of the dead rhinos, KWS displayed the 20 horns to the media last week to allay suspicions.

In yet another blow to the country’s rhino population, the KWS said that a 12-year-old male had been killed by poachers for its horn in Nakuru National Park this week.

Sibuya: lions ‘execute’ rhino poachers

A ranger with guests at the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape on a safari drive on Tuesday afternoon discovered human remains close to a pride of lions.

We suspect two were killed, possibly three,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.

An axe and three pairs of shoes and gloves were found later when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived. The lions had been heard making a commotion in the early morning hours.

 

We thought they must have been rhino poachers but the axe confirmed it,” Fox said. “They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn.”

South Africa is home the biggest population of the world’s rhinos, whose numbers has been depleted by poaching for buyers in Vietnam and China where rhino horn is coveted as an ingredient in traditional medicine as an ‘effective remedy’ from impotence and prostate cancer.

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year.

2018 first rhino victim of poachers

Poachers shot dead a pregnant rhino and hacked off her horn in a nature reserve outside Komani (Queenstown, South Africa) this week. Lawrence de Lange Nature Reserve manager Hein Gerber said yesterday the five year-old white rhino had been due to calve in two to three weeks.

“One rhino is bad enough. We were very shocked and it is a great loss. But with her being pregnant, in fact we have lost two animals,” de Gerber said.

Initial investigations showed the poachers used a .375 calibre hunting rifle to shoot the animal before chopping off its horn with an axe either late on Christmas night or before dawn the next day, he said.

The carcass was found 60 to 70m from the reserve’s southern fence.The access point through the fence had not yet been pinpointed but it was clear that the poachers had got into the reserve and had not shot the animal from the road, the manage said.

Brent Stirton – wildlife photographer of the year

The Natural History Museum recognized Brent Stirton, who shoots mainly for National Geographic, as the 2017 Wildlife photographer of the year for his harrowing images of the carnage left behind by illegal hunting.

 

“To make such a tragic scene almost majestic in its sculptural power deserves the highest award,” competition judge Roz Kidman Cox said in a press release. “There is a rawness, but there is also great poignancy and therefore dignity in the fallen giant. It’s also symbolic of one of the most wasteful, cruel and unnecessary environmental crimes, one that needs to provoke the greatest public outcry.”

 

“The great thing with this competition is it just means that, you know, your work gets another life, or it gets seen by that many more people,” Stirton said. “The issue gets a certain longevity.”

There are only 5,000 black rhinos left in the world, their numbers decimated by poaching.

Zoo rhino killed for his horn…in Paris!

Poachers have broken into a zoo near Paris and shot a rhinoceros dead before stealing his hugely valuable ivory horn.

In the first case of its kind ever in Europe, the five-year-old animal, named Vince, was found dead in Thoiry, west of the French capital.

According to police the zoo raid happened late last night, and it was not until 9am today that zookeepers made the horrifying discovery.

A source speaking to Le Parisien newspaper said “the animal had been shot with three bullets to the head, and his horn was cut off with a chainsaw”.

 

Poachers killed 1,054 South African rhinos for their horns in 2016, a 10 percent dip on a year earlier, the environment ministry said Monday, as officials struggle to quell the slaughter.