News / Africa

No Slowdown in South African Rhino Killings

Rhinos with cut horns walk at a farm in Musina, Limpopo province, May 9, 2012
Rhinos with cut horns walk at a farm in Musina, Limpopo province, May 9, 2012
VOA News
South African officials say poachers have killed 57 rhinos across the country this month, despite increased anti-poaching operations.

A record number of rhinos were slaughtered in South Africa last year, raising concern that park rangers and others fighting the poachers are being outgunned and overwhelmed.

Thursday's report says most of the January killings occurred in Kruger National Park, a vast wilderness area along the Mozambique border.  South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs says 42 rhinos have been killed in the park since the start of the year.

It says recent flooding may have helped poachers because the water left large sections of the park inaccessible to vehicles and park rangers.  Officials also say there have been "aggressive incursions" from Mozambique.

A record 668 rhinos were slaughtered in South Africa in 2012.  The killings are driven by a high demand for rhino horns, especially in Asia where the horns are believed to have medical benefits.

Researchers have found those beliefs to be unfounded.

South Africa is home to about 80 percent of the world's rhino population.

A South African parks official says anti-poaching operations are beginning to yield results in Kruger National Park, in spite of this month's rhino deaths.  

In a Thursday statement, SANParks CEO David Mabunda said anti-poaching operations are becoming "more militaristic" and the number of poachers arrested inside and outside of the park had increased.  

Officials say a total of 18 suspected poachers have been arrested this month.

Also, officials in South Africa and Vietnam signed an agreement in December to work in tandem to decrease the illegal trade of rhino horns.  The plan calls for cooperation between law enforcement officials, a mutual compliance with international poaching laws and strong anti-poaching legislation in both countries.

Separately, some South African conservationists and wildlife reserve owners have begun calling for the legalization of the rhino horn trade, saying it would reduce the price and incentive for poaching.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: People People
January 31, 2013 1:23 PM
Forget the rhino hype, examine the serious issues, such as the murder rate in South Africa, AND just across the border, the Zimbabwean situation. Given the loss of lives in both Countries and the Zimbabwean economic situation with impending election, surely this merits far greater attention, than MERE rhino stats. Since when are rhinos more important than people?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid