Rhino Crisis Round Up: South Africa Death Toll At Least 618

The number of rhinos killed in South Africa in 2012 has reached a staggering 618, according to a December 10th update from the Department of Environmental Affairs. There have been 257 arrests for rhino crimes this year in South Africa.

Earlier this week, the much-anticipated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by South Africa’s Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, and Vietnam’s Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Dr. Cao Duc Phat. While the MoU covered a broad range of biodiversity issues, the focus was rhino horn trafficking, as Vietnam is the primary destination for rhino horn from South Africa.

In addition, South African National Parks (SANParks) CEO David Mabunda announced a cash reward of R 100,000 (US $11,599) for information leading to the “successful arrest of a suspected poacher, as well as a R1m [US $115,989] bonus for a successful conviction of a poaching syndicate mastermind”.

Two baby rhinos!

Knowsley Safari Park in the UK recently welcomed two baby white rhinos, who have been named Thabo and Njiri.

The babies were born just two days apart to mothers Piglet and Winnie. They share the same father, Shako. It just doesn’t get much cuter than these adorable photos of Thabo and Njiri!

Photo: White rhinos via Shutterstock

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.