Rhino Crisis Round Up: Nepal Loses First Rhino in Over a Year & More
This week, tragedy struck in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, where a female rhino was killed for her horn.
The Himalayan Times reports that the rhino’s body was discovered in the western belt of the park, near the Sailimaili River.
It was the first time in more than a calendar year that a rhino was killed in Nepal.
Thanks to a tip-off, three rhino horn smugglers were arrested in Lusaka, Zambia. The Zambia Daily Mail identified the trio as Charles Nyirenda, Chilunda Njamba, and Patrick Sinkala.
A photo of the smuggled rhino horn in a suitcase can be seen here.
Meanwhile, two men wanted in connection with killing rhinos in Kaziranga National Park were arrested in Assam, India.
The duo — identified as Bishnu Pegu and Nagen Pegu — was reportedly headed to Kaziranga National Park, armed with a rifle, ammunition, and a silencer.
South Africa body count
The massacre continues in South Africa, with the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa announcing that the body count for 2012 is now at least 159.
Of the 159 rhinos, 95 were killed in Kruger National Park; 90 people have been arrested this year for rhino horn crimes.
As of April 20th of last year, South Africa’s death toll had reached at least 130 rhinos.
No permits for Vietnamese ‘trophy hunters’
Molewa also indicated that South Africa is cracking down on bogus trophy hunts, which are being used to launder rhino horn for the illegal market.
She noted that Ingogo Safaris applied for hunting permits for five Vietnamese citizens and that the permits were subsequently not issued due to “certain legitimate concerns”.
It was there-after ascertained by the departments that there were certain legitimate concerns. Based upon these concerns, the matter was once more placed before the court, which on 22 March 2012 ordered that the permits need not be issued. A cost order was made against the applicant. The full judgment was delivered on 26 March 2012.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Molewa said that 23 Vietnamese citizens applied for hunting permits this year — and all were rejected.
The ‘Poop Mobile’
What has three wheels and is fueled by pellets made of rhino feces?
It’s the “Poop Mobile” — a demonstration vehicle which shows off a new technology using animal waste and garbage to create electrical energy and heat.
The Denver Zoo is pioneering the project, and its new 10-acre Toyota Elephant Pass exhibit will get electricity and heat from the Poop Mobile technology.
The Poop Mobile’s designer, Mike Dunbar, told The Desert Sun that it “smells like a campfire when the engine’s running.”