News / Africa

South Africa Game Parks Wage New Battles Against Poachers

South Africa Game Parks Wage New Battles against Poachersi
X
January 28, 2014 11:04 PM
South Africa is known around the world for its breathtaking wildlife. The country is home to an astounding number of mammal species. But some, like elephants and lions, face a serious threat from poachers. Animal parts are being sold for high profits on black markets, particularly in Asia. VOA's Chris Simkins reports on a private game park in South Africa, where protecting the wildlife from poachers is a top priority.
Chris Simkins
South Africa is known around the world for its breathtaking wildlife.  The country is home to an astounding number of mammal species.  But some, like elephants and lions, face a serious threat from poachers.  Animal parts are being sold for high profits on black markets, particularly in Asia. Protecting the wildlife from poachers is a top priority in a private game park in South Africa.

This private South African game park is home to hundreds of mammals.  This area, part of the larger Kruger National Park region, is also a hotbed for animal poachers.  They kill elephants for their ivory tusks and lions for their bones. The poachers are also targeting rhinos for their horns.  

Park Ranger C.J. Lombard has seen the devastating impact of rhino poaching.

"You find a female that's been hacked apart and the calf next to a dead mother, knowing that the calf has been staying there for weeks with its mom - refusing to leave the mom and dying of starvation.  It really does make you very angry," said Lombard.

The South African government says more than a thousand rhinos were killed by poachers in 2013, the highest number on record. Already in January more than 37 rhinos have been slain.

In Asian countries rhino horn, which is believed to have some medicinal value, can sell for about $60,000 per kilo.

Lombard and his tracker Patrick Moyane guide tourists through the game park.  They're also part of frontline efforts to stop poaching within this 11,000 hectare private park.
 
"As a member of a team if I can find the poachers we will catch them and put them in jail," said Moyane.

This game park has increased security as part of a number of anti poaching measures.

C.J. and Patrick are tracking rhinos here at the Thornybush Game Reserve in South Africa. One of the initiatives that is being done at this park to stop rhino poaching is to inject poison into each of the rhinos' horns, making it unsuitable for human consumption.

Another measure used to protect the rhino from extinction includes farming them and harvesting their valuable horns.  The horns grow, much like hair and nails do.

Lombard says he favors a South African government proposal to sell some of its stockpile of rhino horns to finance conservation and potentially flood a thriving black market.

"Maybe it works manybe it doesn't work. I think anything is worth trying at this point as long as it does not create a new niche to make rich men richer at the cost of our wildlife," he said.

Some argue legalizing the sale of rhino horns will drive up demand.

Chief park ranger Juan Pinto says more public awareness campaigns are needed to stop animal poaching.
 
"For me the biggest issue is it is a belief.  It is someone's belief that the rhino horn gives them this benefit and you cannot change a belief because belief is stronger than fact," said Pinto.

Lombard and Moyane keep an eye out for poaching activity during game viewing excursions.  They say until other anti-poaching measures prove successful, they will continue to work with the park's security teams to protect the animals.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid