Poachers Kill Last Female White Rhino in South African Reserve



Poachers shot the last female white rhino in a game reserve near Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday, sawed off her horn with a chainsaw, and let her bleed to death:

"The gang used tranquilliser guns and a helicopter to bring down the nine-year-old rhino cow. Her distraught calf was moved to a nearby estate where it was introduced to two other orphaned white rhinos.

Wanda Mkutshulwa, a spokeswoman for South African National Parks, said investigations into the growing number of incidents had been shifted to the country's organised crime unit. 'We are dealing with very focused criminals. Police need to help game reserves because they are not at all equipped to handle crime on such an organised level,' she said."

The situation is dire for the species:

"Wildlife officials say poaching for the prized horns has now reached an all-time high. "Last year, 129 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa. This year, we have already had 136 deaths," said Japie Mostert, chief game ranger at the 1,500-hectare Krugersdorp game reserve…Mkutshulwa said poaching was also rife in the Kruger Park. Five men were arrested there in the past week alone – four of whom were caught with two bloodied rhino horns, AK-47 assault rifles, bolt-action rifles and an axe."


  1. Josh says

    This saddens me. Mutilating endangered species is a crims for which I forgo my commitment to ending capital punishment. The scum responsible for this should be executed publicly.

  2. cmh says

    seriously.. I’m of the same mind as the rest of you. We do so little to deserve this place all we do is ruin it for everything else that lives here. I’m not a full on tree hugging anti modernist but moments like this in the world just make my stomach turn as I burn with hatred for my own kind.

  3. tinhouston says

    but you know, the poachers are doing this for money. There’s a demand they are trying to fill. The demand needs to be addressed. I would think if the demand were not there, then (hopefully) these barbaric acts would cease.
    Just unbelievable.

  4. BG Ness says

    This is representative of the sickness of today’s human race. We have lost the shared knowledge that all life is interconnected, precious, and ultimately one. By killing that beautiful white rhino, the circle of life is broken, ultimately exterminating the chance that the human race will survive on Earth.

  5. TANK says

    This is a tragedy. I wonder, though, if it would have occurred if the poverty weren’t at epidemic proportions in south africa. If a quarter of its population didn’t live on 1.25 real dollars a day. If a quarter of its population weren’t unemployed, and the vast majority of the employed have nothing but survival to show for their efforts, no matter how hard they work. I wonder if crushing and completely avoidable poverty–watching your children go hungry and die for poverty….preventable illness…would create such desperation, and motivate such tragic outcomes as this.

  6. Chris says

    This is disgusting! I seem to recall what happened to those pirates when people finally started fighting back. It stopped! Do the same with these scumbags. Those guys who were caught with bloody rhino horns should have been executed. Send a message!

  7. Lexxvs says

    I would recommend the capital punishment. But that wouldn’t solve the problem either. The species is doomed. I thought Viagra would help those loonies with their impotence problems. But hey, nothing like an old fashioned rhino horn. Yes I know they are used as knife handles in Yemen. Ah, you gotta love cultural traits.

  8. jamal49 says

    So, to satisfy the Chinese demand for ground Rhino horns (white Rhinos especially preferred) because Rhino horn powder gives Chinese men hyper-virility and keeps Chinese men’s three-inch dicks hard, the last female, white Rhino was killed. Wonderful.

  9. anon says

    Hopefully game preserves can be established in more stable countries. Perhaps Australia or the US would work out. Poaching does occur in the US too, largely in wilderness areas and again, largely for the Chinese “medicine” culture/trade. Bear claw is high in demand. The beliefs that spawn such demand are beyond simplistic. China should do more to educate its population that such superstitions are counterproductive.

  10. terry says

    No need for racist tones jamal49. As an Asian American I’m sick of reading these stories as well. Lay off the racist stereotypes; people work well together when we’re not putting other people down.

  11. James says

    How sad, that African poachers are destroying their own wildlife, they fail to see it’s value.

    But I do agree that China is partly to blame for fueling the demand. Lucy Liu did a CNN special on how China’s demand for shark fins (used for soup) is also decimating the shark population too.

  12. Kyle says

    “I wonder, though, if it would have occurred if the poverty weren’t at epidemic proportions in south africa. If a quarter of its population didn’t live on 1.25 real dollars a day. If a quarter of its population weren’t unemployed, and the vast majority of the employed have nothing but survival to show for their efforts, no matter how hard they work.”

    —Blah de fucking Blah. Don’t blame this on poverty. This has China written all over it. It is simply Supply and Demand, pure and simple. Sure, it’s a bitch those people are unemployed, but have you checked how many people in THIS country are unemployed, while TRILLIONS have been sent to Africa? You can’t help those people, it’s been proven. They won’t help themselves.

    So, yes, while this IS a tragedy, make it clear, it is all about supply and demand; China’s supply and demand, which lead to this horrible death.

  13. TANK says

    You are such a complete idiot, kyle. You can help these people for nothing more than the cost of one of your several needless purchases…it doesn’t take much to improve the life of someone who has nothing. And don’t blame the crushingly undeveloped world poor for their plight. You’re gonna blame someone who’s survived on $1.25 since they were born…ignorant of the fact that social capital accounts for upwards of 90% of accumulated wealth in countries like the united states…proven by nobel prize winning economists…and then say that they’re poor because they won’t help themselves? You disgust me.

    Maybe if the people who committed this atrocity weren’t pushed to the limits of desperation to make money by starving to near death, and watching their children die of measles and diarrhea–in other words, poverty–because they can’t afford to take them to a doctor…maybe if THEY were treated like they mattered…EVER…instead of just the faceless nameless nothings that they are, in fact, treated like…maybe they wouldn’t have had this kind of problem, huh? This isn’t a religion problem…this a poverty problem.

  14. TANK says

    “How sad, that African poachers are destroying their own wildlife, they fail to see it’s value.”

    Tragically hilarious! “Oh, the poor! They just don’t get it, huh? They’ll never appreciate the true splendor and beauty of nature and wildlife…those animals!”

    When living through a day is a real achievement…yeah…

  15. Tony says

    This is truly bone-chilling. I was in this very game reserve a few years ago and I’m horrified that this brutal killing occurred there. To those of you saying it was perpetrated by the poverty-stricken and we should not judge, I call bullshit. These poachers are well-funded, have automatic weapons and even a helicopter for fux sake. Of course it is true that the poor will kill as much wildlife as they can for meat and profit (E.g. snares along the Serengeti borders kills thousands of animals) but are you arguing that that’s OK – that we should just sit back and say, oh well, that’s the way of the world? And when all the wildlife is gone, when the last poached rhino horn and tiger penis and whale meat etc. destroy the species? What a cruel, unlovely world awaits us then.

  16. TANK says

    Tony SEZ: “These creatures don’t even know what a bidet is, let alone how to use one! EW!”

    I suppose next you’ll be saying that the sex tours in southeast asia for vile pedophiles isn’t a poverty problem, either.

    Don’t confuse the rich tyrants in these countries who’ve amassed large fortunes with the blood of their countrymen with those they pay (or those they allow “free contract” in their own countries for profit) to do the dirty work.

    No, I’m not arguing that that’s okay. But if you want to avoid things like this (this isn’t like the christianist hatred of gays in many african countries, which is explicitly a religious problem), improve the standard of living of the average south african.

  17. kari says

    CHINA and other Asian countries that believe rhino horns make their dicks bigger among other animal parts are to blame for this savage brutality. They demand is there and poachers will kill their own mothers for money. Boycott China…and all of those that continue to finance these barbaric hideous acts of mankind. I am disgusted by the human race and the greed that is the root of all Mother Earth’s destruction.

  18. lori says

    This is absolutely heart wrenching. They shouldn’t have left this female cow out there they should have protected her better. I tell you…the more i hear about the actions of the Chinese, the way they overfish the waters, breed animals to kill for their sexual powders ..it is disgusting. If we aren’t careful, China will own this entire world. Unfortunately, there won’t be any animals left.

  19. hadenough says

    First of all, hundreds of billions of dollars in aid are sent to Africa each year. Perhaps they need to stop making babies if they can’t provide for them. As for the poachers, when caught, they should have their dicks removed with said chainsaw and left to bleed to death. That might make them pause for a moment.

  20. Andy says

    This is seriously atrocious. It is also very saddening. Will this be yet another species (much like the Dodo), that we humans will be responsible for destroying? I pray that it won’t, but, I fear that it will. Poaching must be stopped. Yes, it is true that supply and demand (as was pointed out by many of you) is very much responsible for atrocities like this happening. Personally, I think that the people who purchase the products made from thing such as rhino horns, elephant tusks (ivory), etc., should be held just as accountable as those who make the products, and the poachers who kill the animals to get the materials. The people who by the products are just as guilty as anybody else in the chain. It is those people who create the “supply and demand”. The consumers, the vendors, the producers, and the poachers should all be subject to punishment. They should all be, at the very least, imprisoned. The producers, vendors and poachers should all be sentenced to death. These are my true feelings.

  21. wow says

    Wow, those poor animals. All becuase of a bunch of dirt poor ni**ers. i know someone is going to comment how they live in shit holes and have no money and are starving to death, to that i say.. TELL EM TO STOP HAVING BABIES! god damn aid infested ni**ers, send me over with a 50 cal ill sit in a tree and wait for em to come with their ak’s and chainsaw’s

  22. meme says

    The demand for horns come from the fricken Chinese as an aphrodisiac…..There is a big difference between law abiding hunters and poachers…poachers are out only for money and will everything and anything. Law abiding hunters will want to protect endangered species and ensure there is a healthy population of animals.

  23. BUNNY says

    Those you don’t value life should have no life. The way the animals are treated will come back to those who see them as things instead of a living breathing being the same as you or I.

  24. AM says

    Tank totally nailed it: BRAVO TANK!

    It’s telling that some on this board have an easier time empathizing with a poached rhino than a poverty stricken South African person. And — amazingly — even when it’s pointed out (quite eloquently by TANK) that the situation of the former could be alleviated by improving the situation of the latter, some on this board STILL cannot empathize.

    TANK: global class prejudice is certainly the crucial factor in the poaching problem, but the (consistent) inability (on this board) to empathize/understand the full extent of this problem belies an entirely different kind of prejudice.

  25. Jerry says

    At least someone had the foresight to move some female white rhinos to reserves in Kenya, so at least there’s a chance for more breeding, even if it is in captivity.

  26. lori says

    Listen guys,,,,,this wasn’t done for the poor in this regionm, nor was it done by the locals. This was done by highly organized, fully funded terrorists. Do you honestly think that this horn’s money is going to go to the people of this area. No it isn’t, it’s going into the pockets of the organizers of this atrocious kill. Just because people are poor and uneducated; that doesn’t make them monsters. These things that did this are the monsters. The people of this region and others have to figure out ways to make their lives better, their lands sustainable, their water drinkeable and maybe, if the last rhino, the last tiger, the last elephant isn’t gone by then, maybe they can protect their lands and future generations of wildlife

  27. victor says

    equiped with high powered wepons and a fkn helicopter to go to I confined area where the animal is in a reserve! It may take some time but I am sure you are reading this and you will be introduced to karma so get ready assholes

  28. TANK says

    Well, AM, what do you expect? A lot of people don’t understand basic economics, and specifically, how easy it is to facilitate something horrible like this by exploiting corrupt underfunded governments and desperately poor people. Yes, poverty in the united states is awful…and so is unemployment…horrible…but it’s just not something you can compare to the kind of poverty that 1.4 billion people around the world suffer daily…the kind of poverty that is common in places like south africa.

    If you improve the standard of living, civil society improves (people are free to associate and promote issues that don’t concern living through the night), and people are thinking about more than just surviving day to day…like about natural resources–the future because lo, they have one worth looking forward to all of a sudden! Environmentalism is a luxury that the first world has and squanders, unfortunately. When civil society improves, government corruption decreases because people have the money to pay for things like education and infrastructure (e.g., uncontaminated easily accessible drinking water), and that creates bargaining power to demand an end to corrupt and inefficient government. Increases in education and social capital have exponential effects on standard of living (by having the luxury of enabling your child to attend school, for example). From this comes an improvement in the rule of law, creating relatively reliable and equitable legal outcomes. Increased standard of living creates a disincentive to, say, poach or, by decreasing government corruption, allow poachers to slaughter protected animals in that country for bribes. The price of transacting such business goes up dramatically, and this reduces demand; and with reduced demand, you have a reduction in opportunity. This effects such things as the amount of people who can patrol and protect wildlife preserves such as this (more, better trained and equipped patrol peoples). The price of a white rhino horn is already pretty high on the black market (for the chinese), but if the average standard of living were improved with the attendant improvement in social capital, and regulatory change that accompanies that, the price would go up a lot more, decreasing demand as the opportunity cost of poaching increases with the price of the product (e.g., the punishment of being caught and the likelihood of being caught increase with price). Am I saying it wouldn’t happen if the standard of living were improved in south africa? No. I’m saying it would be a lot harder to do these awful horrendous things, and a lot less likely that they would occur. Extremely rough sketch…very, very, very rough.

    People don’t want to think about that, though…because it’s harder, and the gratification of the immediate cause is so much more rewarding to the consumer of outrage, indignation and blame. But we live in an age of unparalleled abundance, and no one should die from malnutrition, diarrhea…and measles…and 9.7 million children under five die from poverty each year, including in south africa, where this happened.

    Kyle, you should keep your mouth full of penis so as sustain a little mystery about your intellect…it’ll be helpful to you.

  29. Kyle says

    So Tank, What are YOU doing to help alleviate world poverty, since it so moves you? What do YOU donate to? Where to YOU Volunteer? As much as I thought, you’d rather sit back and be an armchair critic. It’s so much easier that way, isn’t it?

    You are SO typical, it’s hilarious.

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