Rhino Crisis Round Up: Killing Spree Continues in South Africa and India

In less than a month, South Africa and India have lost a combined total of at least thirty-five rhinos to the illegal rhino horn trade.

32 rhinos were killed in South Africa as of January 24th and 13 suspects were arrested for rhino crimes, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs. The country’s rhino death toll reached 668 in 2012.

Three rhinos were gunned down in India, including one which was translocated to Manas National Park under Indian Rhino Vision 2020. However, the International Rhino Foundation points out that despite this tragic news, the species continues to make a strong comeback from fewer than 200 individuals at the turn of the 20th century.

Greater one-horned rhinos are found only in protected areas inside India and Nepal.

The Telegraph reports that the other two victims had unfortunately strayed out of protected areas in Kaziranga and Orang National Parks.

One rhino carcass was found at Sitolmari Sor, a sandbar in Morigaon district. The horn had been removed before the forest team got to the spot, 1km from Orang … The second killing was reported at Gohpur, adjacent to Kaziranga, in Sonitpur district. Poachers shot the rhino, which is believed to have strayed from the park, and chopped off its horn.

The greater one-horned rhino population has increased to just over 3,000, and is found only in protected areas of India and Nepal.

Sumatran rhino signs

In Indonesia, camera trap and monitoring surveys led by Leuser International Foundation (LIF) in Gunung Leuser National Park have detected the signs of what is believed to be 60 Sumatran rhinos. Unfortunately, the rhinos are currently separated from each other in isolated pockets of habitat, which presents a challenge for breeding opportunities. There are fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos still surviving.

Drones in Kenya

Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy successfully ran a fundraising appeal for the deployment of drones to monitor its wildlife, which includes four of the world’s seven Northern white rhinos.

The drones are fitted with a live streaming HD camera, which is mounted for 360o remote controlled viewing. The rhino and other endangered species will be chipped with radio frequency ID (RFID) tags.

The drone and tagging system allows the conservancy to monitor the well-being of the wildlife, and to create a ton of data on animal movements and behavior. The good news is that protecting wildlife means protecting tourism, and tourism mean more money for people in the local community, not just for a few poachers.

Besides the four Northern white rhinos, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to 88 black rhinos and eleven Southern white rhinos.

Photos: Rhino grazing via Shutterstock; baby greater one-horned rhino via Shutterstock.

2 thoughts on “Rhino Crisis Round Up: Killing Spree Continues in South Africa and India”

  1. Geoengineering is weather weaponry and it has been used since at least Operation Popeye during the Vietnam War. Anyone who can’t see evidence of geoengineering in the skies should qualify for disability on account of being legally blind or braindead.

  2. Geoengineering utterly fails to address root causes, ie., “why” we’re in trouble in the first place, and therefore, should not be seriously considered. Civilization, overpopulation, and incessent connedsumption of energy, resources and the whole of the biosphere is THE PROBLEM. Unless ALL of this is IMMEDIATELY addressed – we are completely “fucked”. I quote from Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott. His conclusion: “We’re fucked”. I agree. He’s not alone. More and more scientists are in agreement – the future of planet Earth is not in jeapordy – but we are. Extinction now awaits in less then 100 years. We cannot survive the temperature increases that we have set in motion and virtually NOTHING is being done to try and stop this.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top