In a matter of hours, the highly anticipated Parliamentary discussion about South Africa’s horrific rhino situation will commence in Cape Town.
Public hearings on potential solutions to the country’s rhino crisis are expected to begin Thursday at 9:30 AM SAST.
The Department of Environmental Affairs (the Department), and other relevant government state holders will commence the hearings by explaining the current poaching situation in relation to the achievements and challenges.
Presenters of selected submissions will be given an opportunity to comment on the following (as per the Parliamentary Monitoring Group website):
- The strength and weaknesses of the current initiatives to address the problem;
- The efficacy of current environmental governance structures to address the problem;
- Whether South Africa has the requisite combination of expertise, sufficient and sustained financial capacity, and well-performing institutional and regulatory mechanisms to maintain an effective and balanced intervention to rhino poaching;
- Recommendations to address specific challenges and responses of the present regime pertinent to the practitioner, regulator and policy-maker.
Use the hashtag #rhinohearing to follow the latest developments from Cape Town.
At least 24 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this month, and 448 rhinos were slaughtered in 2011.
Armed rhino killers shot dead
In India, three members of an armed rhino killing gang were shot dead by security forces at Kaziranga National Park.
Fortunately, no rhinos were harmed during the deadly encounter.
Please note the following video contains graphic images of the deceased gang members:
The Times of India reported that two additional rhino killing attempts were thwarted in Kaziranga National Park and Orang National Parks.
With forest officials on high alert, the gangs have been targeting rhinos that stray outside of the Parks.
During the past two months, three of seven rhinos who wandered beyond the park boundaries were killed.
Last weekend, a would-be rhino killer was arrested after he sneaked into the Assam State Zoo with a rifle and an axe.
Baby rhinos galore!
Uganda, the US, Kenya and Germany have all welcomed new baby rhinos into the world during the last few weeks.
Check out the rhino baby boom:
- Two baby white rhinos were born at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda, which has doubled the country’s rhino population to 12 since 2009. A photo of one of the baby rhinos is posted on the International Rhino Foundation’s Facebook® page here.
- Zoo Miami welcomed a greater one-horned rhino — and there is an adorable photo gallery posted by the International Rhino Keeper Association
- A greater one-horned rhino was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This is the 61st greater one-horned rhino born at the park! Here’s a photo of the baby rhino at just one day old.
- In Kenya, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy announced the birth of a baby black rhino. No photos are available yet.
- Barely a month ago, on Christmas Eve, a female black rhino was born at Germany’s Magdeburg Zoo. Not only is there an extremely cute photo here, you can also watch mother and baby on a live rhino-cam!
Congratulations on all the beautiful new rhino babies!