Animals Greater one-horned rhino via Shutterstock

Published on May 18th, 2012 | by Rhishja Cota-Larson

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Rhino Crisis Round Up: Rhino Killer Shot Dead in India & More

May 18th, 2012 by

Kaziranga National Park’s greater one-horned rhinos are safer today, following an exchange of gunfire between authorities and armed rhino killers, which left one of the assailants dead.

According to India Blooms news, the incident occurred near the Bagori range of the park. Police also recovered a .303 rifle and live ammunition.

Less than a week ago, two members of a rhino-killing gang were arrested in the Biswanathghat area of Kaziranga National Park, thanks to a joint operation of Assam Police and Assam Rifles.

The suspects — caught with a .303 rifle and live ammunition — were identified as Dilowar Hussain and Altaf Hussain.

Suspect arrested with ten rhino horns

Ten rhino horns and an elephant tusk were seized and a Vietnamese national was taken into custody after police raided a home in the Johannesburg suburb of Bedfordview.

Eyewitness News reported that in addition to the horns and tusk, R20 million (US $2.4 million) in cash was confiscated.

Vietnamese nationals have been implicated in a number of rhino horn smuggling incidents in South Africa.

However, South African safari operators have also been willing accomplices in “pseudo hunts”, which use legal rhino hunts as a front for bogus “clients” to run rhino horn to illegal markets.

For example, CITES records indicate that 62 rhino horns and 37 rhino trophies (both horns) were exported to Vietnam from South Africa in 2009.

2010 figures were reported as 91 rhino horns and 20 rhino trophies to Vietnam.

For more information about South Africa’s trophy hunt scheme, check out:

Another safari operator arrested

Breaking news via Twitter has named South African safari operator Harry Claassens as the latest suspect arrested in connection with the Thai rhino horn syndicate involving game farmer Marnus Steyl.

South Africa’s Carte Blanche reported earlier this year that Claassens was under investigation, along with Steyl.

The syndicate is believed to be dealing in lion bones and skeletons as well.

At least 210 rhinos have been massacred in South Africa this year, according to last week’s figures released by the country’s Department of Environmental Affairs.

Protecting Asian rhinos

Did you know that the total of all three Asian rhino species (just over 3,000) is still less than Africa’s critically endangered black rhino (4,860)?

Learn more about the Javan, Sumatran and greater one-horned rhinos — and you can help — in this interview with Kerry Crosbie, founder of the Asian Rhino Project:


Greater one-horned rhino via Shutterstock; white rhino via Shutterstock.

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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.



  • salamanderwoman13@gmail.com

    Rhino killer shot dead in India! GOOD!!!!! I wish all the rest of the poachers would be killed too so that rhinos, tigers and lions would not be headed toward extinction for some bogus sex remedy that is pure superstitious hogwash! The Asians need aphrodesiacs like I need a gallon of vodka!

  • salamanderwoman13@gmail.com

    Rhino killer shot dead in India! GOOD!!!!! I wish all the rest of the poachers would be killed too so that rhinos, tigers and lions would not be headed toward extinction for some bogus sex remedy that is pure superstitious hogwash! The Asians need aphrodesiacs like I need a gallon of vodka!

  • John

    Harry should be arrested and all others as well. It is time that we poision the horns so that those who use them die. The sooner we do this the better for all of us including the Rhino which is one of the most best animals in the world. The horn is only hair was why not just trim the Rion’s hair from it head to its tail?

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