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South Africa To Evacuate 500 Rhinos To Save Them From Poachers


The South African government has announced it will relocate as many as 500 rhinos form the Kruger National Park, a large nature reserve comparable in size to Israel or Wales and home to 8,400 white Rhinos. As the BBC reports, the move comes as illegal hunting of Rhinos has risen dramatically in the last seven years

South Africa is home to more than 80% of Africa's rhinos. Illegal poaching has risen sharply from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013.

Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the relocations from the Kruger National Park, coupled with the creation of "rhino strongholds", could "allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow."

"South Africa, with its large rhino populations, has borne the brunt of rhino poaching. We remain confident that our efforts in implementing the integrated strategic approach will build on our successful track record of conserving rhino," she said.

South Africa's rhinos are primarily being hunted for their tusks. And though the trading of rhino horn has been against international law since 1977, the black market continues to thrive as demand for rhino horn is still high in some Asian nations.  

Other poachers seek to kill African rhino merely for the “sport” of it.

(Photo by Andy Towle)

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  1. China should be ashamed for now clamping down on its rhino horn trade. Yemen is a lost cause.

    Posted by: woody | Aug 12, 2014 1:02:52 PM

  2. Stop the demand. Put cyanide into the rhino horn "cures." Yemen, lost cause, yeah

    Posted by: PHW | Aug 12, 2014 1:27:38 PM

  3. Maybe the Donald Trump sons can shoot them all to save them....

    Posted by: rochon | Aug 12, 2014 1:36:07 PM

  4. People will do anything for money. Reminds me of the destruction now going on with the giant redwoods here in California. Thieves are using chain saws to cut the heart (or burl) out of these ancient beautiful trees to sell them as coffee tables - and, of course, people clamor for them because they are so beautiful.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 12, 2014 2:05:18 PM

  5. i'm living in kruger currently, and the poaching is out of control compared to a few years ago. this last full moon was bad, since the poachers prefer moonlight for trekking in on foot from mozambique.

    Posted by: mtnsky | Aug 12, 2014 2:11:29 PM

  6. I really wish these countries had the ability and audacity to pass laws that allow poachers to be shot dead on sight and used their meager military forces to protect these animals. The same thing is currently happening to the rapidly disappearing elephant populations in Africa as well.

    The Chinese are a strange and disturbing people. The world would probably be better if they decided to isolate themselves for a few more centuries.

    Posted by: Logan | Aug 12, 2014 2:17:42 PM

  7. It's a good idea, but it is unfortunate it has come to this. Where can you hid 8400 Rhinos? I know they don't have to be hidden, but where can the be put and be safe?

    Posted by: JEFF YORK | Aug 12, 2014 2:26:20 PM

  8. I agree Logan, the Chinese are like murdering alien omnivores consuming anything that will fit in a pot (and don't start folks...of course there are many brilliant exceptions). They officially execute far more criminals than any known nation on earth, and they consume with abandon every animal product in the world on the contemptible grounds of tradition.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 12, 2014 2:33:49 PM

  9. Your ignorance and racism is outstanding.
    One of the key issues surrounding the ivory and horn trade in asia lies around that most ppl believe that the tusks and horn grow back. They don't understand that the animals are dying for the trinket they are buying. Dealers deliberately mislead buyers as well, claiming the ivory or horn is from the 1988 ban on ivory or was harvested in a non harmful way.
    This is industry is also facilitated by american and european big game hunters. yes culling is a part of wildlife management, however we make large sport and event of it. its hard to play envirnomental saviour while killing the animals, especially to a country where the middle class and new upper class are just forming.
    If you truly want to make a difference lobby your government for stricter penalties for smuggling Class 1 and 2 CITES treaty wildlife and fauna. Right now it is a 50,000$ fine for individuals and 300,000$ for groups. No loss of visa or passport, its just confiscated and than your fined. Demand stricter penalties and the destruction of all confiscated and stockpiled ivory and rhino horn. We start by making sure we're not contributing to the problem, than getting other countries to join us.

    Posted by: thrutch | Aug 12, 2014 3:03:01 PM

  10. Please execute poachers on sight. Thank you.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 12, 2014 3:30:29 PM

  11. Sad story, and thanks for posting it. Just a small correction: Rhinos have horns, not tusks.

    Posted by: june | Aug 12, 2014 3:44:57 PM

  12. I think @PHW's general idea of counterfeiting is promising. The counterfeit cures don't need to be lethal, though—maybe just unpleasant, or maybe completely benign if they undercut the poachers enough to make their activities unprofitable.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 12, 2014 3:57:15 PM

  13. China: the locust plague of the new century;
    devouring, destroying and polluting everything in its path.

    Posted by: mike in nyc | Aug 12, 2014 4:07:17 PM

  14. Sorry Thrutch, but I do not believe for one second that the vast majority of those purchasing these items would do anything different if they knew the truth. They just don't care. I am also in full support of executing Americans who go there to hunt them too. Humans are disgusting, the Chinese just happen to be on another playing field when it comes to this kind of behavior. I understand we view these things from a different, privileged perspective. That doesn't change the outright barbarity of what is happening.

    Posted by: Logan | Aug 12, 2014 4:30:49 PM

  15. better idea use the army to hunt the poachers and make all the wildlife safe. hang a few poachers heads as trophies

    Posted by: walter | Aug 12, 2014 7:05:23 PM

  16. Have we seriously reached this point evacuating an entire species (more or less) from its native environment to protect it from human beings' sport and/or profit? What have we sunk to that we are such thoughtless cockroaches?

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 12, 2014 7:53:50 PM

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