Animals Mother white rhino with calf

Published on February 16th, 2012 | by Rhishja Cota-Larson

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Rhino Crisis Round Up: 54 Rhinos Killed in 6 Weeks (S Africa) & More

February 16th, 2012 by

South African National Parks (SANParks) has confirmed that at least 54 of the country’s rhinos have been killed since the start of 2012.

Of these, 26 were massacred in the famed Kruger National Park.

Although five arrests were reportedly made earlier this week and three people were jailed earlier this month, none of these suspects appear to be the high-ranking members of rhino horn syndicates who continue to lurk within South Africa’s conservation community.

It is worth noting that these rhino horn profiteers – “game industry white guys” – have continued to evade proper punishment.

(Check out “Rhino Crimes: Are the Right People Going to Jail?” for a startling look at corruption within South Africa’s rhino ranching and hunting industry.)

Demonstration ends in death

A controversial plan to protect rhinos from being killed for their horns tragically went awry during a media demonstration.

A 22-year-old rhino named Spencer died while undergoing a treatment to inject a substance into his horns, which supporters say is toxic to humans if consumed.

Jason Bell, Country Director of the Southern African office of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) explained via the IFAW website that conservationists are desperate to stop the bloodshed.

Sadly, this stunt to demonstrate alternative methods that might save rhinos went very wrong. It directed attention away from the real tragedy – which is that rhinos and elephants are dying every single day in an onslaught that will not stop until we take a consistent, cooperative approach to ending poaching, and thus the trade, once and for all.

He added that “the notion that a legal trade in rhino horn and ivory would reduce poaching and save animals ignored historical evidence that the approach did not work”.

Sumatran rhinos

Following up on the big news about Ratu last week (she’s pregnant!), I spoke with Bill Konstant, Program Officer at the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), about Sumatran rhinos.

Check out the informative interview, State of the Sumatran Rhino, below:

You can also read the interview transcript here.

Baby rhino born in Spain

The Terra Natura animal park in Benidorm welcomed a new baby rhino into the world!

This historic birth was the first time a greater one-horned rhino was born in Spain.

A photo of the mother and baby can be seen here.

Photos: White rhino with calf via Shutterstock; greater one-horned rhino calf via Shutterstock; image via 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.



  • Penga Ndlovu

    Sadly enough Sanparks have their fact wrong:

    2012 OSCAP Rhino Poaching statistics: 65

    17 February 2012: 1 Rhino KNP – awaiting confirmation of location
    17 Feburary 2012: 1 White Rhino Borakolalo Game Reserve (had to be put down)
    … 15 February 2012: 1 White rhino (1 month old carcass), Pilanesberg,NP
    15 February 2012: 1 carcass found Manyeleti, KNP
    14 February 2012: 8 carcasses found KNP
    13 February 2012: 2 Rhino Chicks Game Lodge Hluhluwe
    12 February 2012: 1 Madikwe White Rhino Bull both horns taken
    10 February 2012 : 1 Madikwe white bull
    09 February 2012 : 3 Letsitele, Limpopo – Pregnant mother and calf + unborn baby added
    08 Februrary 2012: 1 Ndumo
    08 February 2012: 2 iMfolozi
    07 February 2012 : 1 White Rhino Bull – Hoedspruit – private reserve
    06 February 2012 : 1 Rhino bull Thabazimbi-Rooiberg area
    06 February 2012 : 1 Carcass found KNP (poached Sat probably) – North of Letaba
    06 February 2012 : 1 Madikwe – Black Rhino
    26 January 2012 : 2 Limpopo Province – Waterberg area
    26 January 2012 : 2 North West Province (to be confirmed)
    19 January 2012 : 1 Hluhluwe iMfolozi found recently date unknown
    16 January 2912 : 3 White Rhino Rooiberg area
    16 January 2012 : 1 Mossel Bay, Kobus Crous – Farm Bergsig
    15 January 2012 : 2 Madikwe 1 carcass found, Ndumo 2 month old carcass
    13 January 2012 : 4 KNP – Pretoriuskop area
    11 January 2012 : 5 Rhino Private Reserve near Stofberg
    11 January 2012 : 3 Rhino – KNP
    09 January 2012 : 2 White Rhino at Ndumo and 1 Black Rhino at Mkhusi
    09/10 January 2012 : 9 KNP (4 near Pretoriuskop, 2 near Lower-Sabie and 2 near Crocodile Bridge +1 other area to be confirmed)
    04 January 2012 : 4 KNP Satara area
    04 January 2012 : 1 Rhino Gravellotte area, Limpopo

  • amanda

    Rhishja – obviously 2012 is off to a horrendous start with 54 rhinos killed, and the trend is accelerating… do you think there is anything different going on in South Africa that can adaquately help slow / stop the killings in 2012? I can’t imagine the rhinos can take many more years like 2011.

    On a bright note, it is wonderful to see someone who is doing whatever she can do to help raise awareness of this most disturbing trend and to help save such a majestic species.

  • http://SierraMagazine Cyndy

    I’m interested in writing a blog about the current rhino poaching problem for Sierra Magazine. You can contact me via the above email or at sierra.intern@sierraclub.com please write my name in the subject line.

    Thanks,

    Cyndy Patrick

  • Sheila liptrot

    Hope I got the right link karla xx

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