Rhino Crisis Round Up: Rhino Killer Shot Dead in Kruger National Park & More

One suspected rhino killer was shot dead and another two wounded after they opened fire on Kruger National Park rangers, who acted in self-defense.

A fourth member of the rhino-killing gang was arrested, and has admitted to slaughtering three rhinos last week in the park.

The South African Police Service said that a rifle and “several knives used to hack off rhino horns” were confiscated.

Three rhinos killed

South Africa’s News24 reports that three rhinos were killed in Limpopo Province.

The bodies of two pregnant rhinos were discovered at Hannah Lodge in Ohrigstad; they had been shot several times, but their horns were reportedly intact.

A third rhino was found at Letaba Ranch, between Tzaneen and Phalaborwa, and his horn was missing.

At least 87 rhinos have now been massacred in South Africa since the beginning of the year; however, unconfirmed sources claim the number is closer to 100.

Meanwhile, ex-cop Joseph “Big Joe” Nyalunga was arrested with four rhino horns in his vehicle, and a police sting netted a game ranger and two farmers.

Rhino horn robberies linked to murder?

Rhino horn robbers struck at a pub in Weisskirchen in the Austrian province of Styria and escaped with a hunting trophy that had been on display.

According to the Austrian Times, the recent string of rhino horn robberies in Austria and Germany may also be linked to the murder of a waitress in Offenburg.

Police speculate that the waitress could have witnessed the theft of two rhino horns from the Ritterhaus Museum.

Rhino horns no longer on display

The Natural History Museum of Ireland made the decision to remove all rhino horns from display, in an effort to deter criminals who have been stealing them from museums.

Museum keeper Nigel Monaghan told the Irish Times that the possibility of a rhino horn theft also places the public at risk.

We took the decision to remove the horns to reduce the risk of anybody wishing to target them. Our concern was the endangerment of our visitors and staff.

The horns of the museum’s black rhinoceros will be replaced with fiberglass replicas.

White rhino with baby in Kruger National Park
via Shutterstock;
black rhino close-up
via Shutterstock

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