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Thursday, January 17, 2019
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Protecting Africa’s wildlife with intelligence and passion

Dehorning rhino to stop poaching Three rhinos are poached every single day in Africa. More than 1,000 rhinos have died in South Africa annually since 2012. The poaching threat continues to spread across borders and countries as illegal demand grows.

For the Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game and Wilderness Reserve in Botswana’s Tuli Block, preventing poaching through intelligent measures is critical to preserving these increasingly endangered animals. This reserve invested in anti-poaching measures designed to protect the rhino, their legacy and the safety of all its animals.

“There has been an increase in rhino poaching Botswana over the past few months – seven rhinos have been killed in Botswana since May - and we have implemented measures designed to counteract this worrying trend,” Kevin MacFarlane, Reserve Manager of Limpopo-Lipadi said. “We decided to double down our anti-poaching efforts to keep rhinos out of harm’s way by upping our commitment to rigorous anti-poaching methods including working with the Botswana government, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), investing in our own anti-poaching team and dehorning our rhino.”

The reserve invested in training and reinforcements for its anti-poaching unit and their work is supported by the BDF. Trained tracker dogs complement Kalahari Bushmen trackers to patrol the perimeter to detect intruders on the reserve, night and the day.

“As part of our conservation and anti-poaching efforts, The Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks allowed us to dehorn our rhino. Thanks to this we can say there are no horns available to poach in our reserve. We will be repeating the dehorning process at least once a year, so we can focus on efforts to protect and breed rhino and help rebuild flagging numbers. We also work closely with the Department’s anti-poaching unit to protect all wildlife in the Tuli Block,” reserve manager Kevin MacFarlane said.

Limpopo-Lipadi has become home to a number of rhino over the past 10 years. The dehorning programme will allow them to breed safely - it forms a critical part of the reserve’s conservation efforts and draws a clear line under its anti-poaching stance. It is undertaken with extreme care to ensure risk to the rhinos is minimal.

“We work with one of the most experienced rhino vets in Southern Africa, Dr Erik Vereynne. His understanding of techniques, drugs and animal care means our rhino have had minimal stress throughout the procedure. Thanks to his work and our passion we are making great strides in protecting wildlife in the reserve.”

 

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