Animals Greater one-horned rhino in Chitwan National Park

Published on September 2nd, 2011 | by Rhishja Cota-Larson

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Rhino Crisis Round Up: Syndicate 'Kingpin' Denied Bail, Rhino Murdered in India, The Rhino Chair & More

September 2nd, 2011 by

There was encouraging news this week from South Africa: Has justice finally been served?

Meanwhile, tragedy struck inside one of India’s premier tourist destinations and a rhino horn display was stolen from a UK zoo.

No bail for Lemtongthai

Kudos to the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court for denying bail to (alleged) rhino horn syndicate “kingpin” Chumlong Lemtongthai.

Thai national Lemtongthai is accused of laundering rhino horns for the illegal market using a trophy hunt scam that apparently involved Thai prostitutes. He was reportedly running the operation with a South African accomplice, Marnus Steyl.

However, Steyl appears to be evading public scrutiny.

Lemtongthai has another court appearance on September 15th, according to South Africa’s News24.

Rhino murdered in India

Even India’s famed Kaziranga National Park has not been spared from the illegal rhino horn trade, as a female rhino was gunned down this week. She had been shot four times and her horn was missing.

Police believe the killers have taken refuge in an area near the Park’s border and a manhunt is in progress.

The shooting was a tragic turn of events from just a few days earlier when authorities disrupted another gang camped near the park. The suspects fled the scene, leaving behind a .303 rifle, ammunition, and a dagger.

Zoo display stolen

In the UK, antique rhino horn robberies continue.

This time, Drusillas Animal Park in East Sussex was hit.

Thieves managed to steal a rhino horn that was on display as part of the zoo’s CITES educational exhibit.

The Argus notes that the theft occurred in broad daylight.

World Rhino Day activities

Two more events have been added to the World Rhino Day calendar!

Partnership for Rhino Conservation (PARC/Nepal) is organizing Nepal’s first World Rhino Day event, complete with local TV and radio broadcasts.

See Nepal Prepares for Historic World Rhino Day for details.

The Asian Rhino Project announced another World Rhino Day fundraiser: Rock Climbing for Rhinos.

Check out World Rhino Day: Rock Climbing for Asian Rhinos for more information.

World Rhino Day FAQs can be found here.

The Rhino Chair

Have you ever seen such an extraordinary chair?

This is artist Maximo Riera’s amazing piece called “The Rhino Chair”, part of The Animal Chair Collection.”

“There is not a better animal than the Rhino to reflect nature’s capacity and mightiness,” says Maximo Riera.

Learn more about The Animal Chair Collection at Maximo Riera’s website.

Photo #4 courtesy & © Maximo Riera; #1 & #2 © iStockphoto.com; image #3 Saving Rhinos LLC

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About the Author

Rhishja is the founder of Annamiticus, a nonprofit organization which provides educational information and news about wildlife crime and endangered species. Rhishja has journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. At CITES CoP16 in Bangkok, she joined colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species from economic exploitation. When Rhishja is not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, she enjoys gardening, reading, designing, and rocking out to live music.



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