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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More