Rhino poaching still rampant
Written by Kim Helfrich, Monday, 18 March 2013
As has become the norm, the Kruger National Park where a more militaristic approach to stopping poaching has been in place since the start of the year is still poachers’ number one target.
The attentions of the park’s ranger corps, now overseen by retired SA Army major general Johan Jooste have not yet impacted dramatically on the number of rhino killed by poachers. But his efforts, as SANParks commanding officer: special projects, have been noticed.
During the just finished Conference on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference of the parties in Thailand, delegates said initiatives currently underway in South Africa to stop trans-boundary wildlife crime would boost the global effort to halt poaching and trade.
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has declared rhino poaching a priority crime as part of the national effort to at least bring down the number of these animals falling to poachers’ high-power assault and hunting rifles.
The best efforts of Jooste and his team, along with assistance in the form of a light surveillance aircraft donated by the Ichikowitz Foundation and public donations including 210 GPS units, have not prevented the iconic park from losing 116 rhinos to date this year. The SA Army, elements of which are deployed on border protection in Kruger, also assist with anti-poaching operations and two BK-117 helicopters from 15 Squadron’s C Flight have also provided aerial surveillance capabilities.
With a loss of 13 North West is a long way behind Kruger in second place. Third worst hit province is KwaZulu-Natal with 12 followed by Mpumalanga (nine) and Limpopo (eight).
In total 158 rhino had been killed by poachers as of Friday last week.
Encouraging to those doing both the grass roots and command work in what SANParks chief executive Dr David Mabunda calls a “low intensity war” is the number of arrests.
Sixty-one suspects have been arrested since January 1 in connection with the rhino poaching chain. At least 38 of them are suspected poachers and another three are said to be couriers of horn.
Top stories this week
- Congo and UN troops fire in air to stop machete-armed villagers
- Congolese army apparently attacked UN troops meeting rebels
- Peacekeepers, Congo army to resume joint fight against Rwandan rebels - U.N
- Wave of kidnappings, violence hampering DR Congo aid delivery - U.N.
- SAAF helicopter fired at in the DRC
- Congo looking into new charges against ICC convict Katanga
- Suspected Ugandan rebels kill four soldiers in eastern DR Congo: army
- Congo opposition to run against Sassou Nguesso in March polls
- DR Congo's Catholic Church set to cancel pro-democracy march in blow to opposition
- Congo edges towards crisis as opposition digs in against Kabila
Power of the Rooivalk on show during three-day demonstration
by Denel Corporate, 3 February 2016
The demonstration at the Denel Overberg Test Range will showcase the effectiveness of the Rooivalk deployed in tandem with the Denel Mokopa missile system.
Denel honours top-performing students who excel in science, technology
by Denel Corporate, 27 January 2016
Matriculants who participated in Denel's maths and science enrichment programmes received a 100% pass rate in the 2015 year-end exams.
Saab signs contract for Carl-Gustaf ammunition
by Saab, 13 January 2016
The total order value for the man-portable weapon system is about SEK1.4 billion. Information about the company will not be made public.