October 13th, 2011 by Rhishja Cota-Larson
Rhino killers struck in Kenya and South Africa, leaving at least six rhinos dead, including three critically endangered black rhinos.
Two of the deaths were rhino calves: A white rhino calf was shot along with the mother, and a baby black rhino died as a result of being orphaned.
Tragic losses in Kenya
Three rhinos have been killed in Kenya, while a fourth died after losing his mother.
According to Kenya’s The Standard, a critically endangered black rhino was killed in Nakuru on September 16th, a white rhino on October 9th, and another black rhino the following day at Mugie Conservancy in Laikipia.
A black rhino calf whose mother was murdered did not survive.
Mugie Conservancy has posted photos of the most recent tragedy on their Facebook® page here.
Arrests and killings in South Africa
South Africa’s Jacaranda 94.2 reported that two “well-known members of the underworld of rhino poaching” were arrested in Kruger National Park near Pretoriuskop, thanks to a tip-off by a park visitor.
The pair is believed to be connected to at least ten recent rhino killing incidents in the Stolsnek area.
Also in Kruger National Park: A mother rhino and her calf were found shot to death near Albasini Road in the Pretoriuskop ranger section. One of mother rhino’s horns had been removed.
In Limpopo Province, a young female rhino miraculously managed to survive after being shot 11 times.
According to the Independent Online , this brutal assault occurred at a farm in Limpopo Province, between Bela-Bela and Thabazimbi.
Sharing Sumatran rhino knowledge
The Cincinnati Zoo’s Sumatran rhino breeding program continues to move forward, giving hope to this critically endangered species, whose population teeters at a mere 200 or so individuals worldwide.
Three Sumatran rhinos have been born at the zoo, thanks to the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to saving endangered plants and animals from extinction.
Andalas, born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001, was moved to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in 2007 to breed with semi-captive females. He was the first Sumatran rhino to be born in captivity in 112 years.
Under the guidance of Dr. Terri Roth, the CREW team has been sharing reproductive knowledge about the Sumatran rhino with veterinarians in Indonesia, at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.
Dr. Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation told Cincinnati.com that CREW’s trips to Indonesia are part of the overall strategy to bring Sumatran rhinos back from the very brink of extinction.
It’s not about keeping everything (that’s been learned) in the United States and Cincinnati, it’s about what’s in the best interest of the species, and that is a hallmark of what CREW is doing.
Image #1 © BigStockPhoto.com; #2 © iStockphoto.com
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