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 Post subject: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:44 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Just before I let Port Elizabeth for my new home in Luanda, Angola, there were very disturbing news about the second rhino that were killed on a private reserve in the Eastern Cape by poachers. In neither of the cases did they manage to remove the horns of the animals. The artickle in a local news paper stated that about 70 rhinos were killed in South Africa during the past year due to poaching.

The question is now how safe are the rhinos in Addo from being the target of poachers? There are some beautifull blacks and whites in the reserwe and the I'm aware of the Park's research programs with rhino.

These reports must raise some concerns about the Addo rhino stock.

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Hi lirritma
I saw the same report and was thinking the same thing.
The other thing of concern in this report was the fact that most of this 70 rhino were killed in Kruger. So my qeustion is, how save are our rhinos in the SANPARKS.


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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:09 pm 
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I would go as far as sticking my head out and say that the SANParks are perhaps the safest place for a rhino in a natural setting.

That does not mean that they are 100% secure in any park, and it does not mean that they do not get poached in the SANParks as well.

Face it, outside of drugs, the illegal trade in animal products is the biggest money spinner for criminals. There is a lot of money to be made from rhino horn!!! This simply means that no rhino is 100% secure.

But the facts are also that SANParks have a highly professional and dedicated team of people looking after the animals. They have an active anti-poaching unit, and game rangers in the bush looking after these animals and combating poaching.

And before the pessimistic nay sayers start shouting again ... I have supreme confidence in these people! The vast majority are dedicated people with a passion for their job and responsibility.

One interesting fact is that SANParks is an exporter of rhino. Some 80 white rhino is captured yearly in KNP alone and exported to other reserves in SA and abroad. That is a clear indication of the success SANParks is having in not only giving these animals a natural environment to thrive in, but also stopping losses. If there were rampant poaching, this would not have been possible.

You only have to do a few walks in KNP to realise how successful the re-introduction was, remembering that all rhino were hunted in to local extinction in that area in the good old days.

That does not mean that everything is rose coloured! There has been a rise in poaching in the last two years. This needs to be combated.

There is a continual need for resources in helping the people involved in anti-poaching activities.

I do believe that Addo rhino have some advantages. This include the fact that they are in a smaller reserve where poaching is easier to spot, and the type of habitat they are living in. But, you will always find somebody taking a pot shot at a rhino moving near a boundary fence, or people trying their luck inside the reserve.

The poaching problem is serious and will remain with us forever. But it is important not to be so blinded by the negatives, as not to see the great work that is being done, and the successes that have been achieved.

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:32 pm 
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I agree

Rhino's are poached from small populations on relative small game farms as well. To control poaching when an area is as big as some of the SANParks is a mammoth task. I think SANParks is doing really well.

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:50 pm 
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I doubt very much the rhino in the main game area get poached ... having the close relationship with the fence there that I have :twisted: , I know it is also a very secure fence that is patrolled daily.

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:51 pm 
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Hey, don't get me wrong here. I do not critisize Sanparks or their personell.
I just wonder, is there enough of these dedicated people if 70 rhinos is killed in one year and most of that is in a Sanpark


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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:02 am 
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Is there ever enough people? :wink:

I am not sure about the facts of that article though ... did they give any number on what is the number of "the most"?

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply, Imberbe.

Obviously it is very disturbing that there are poachers starting to target rhino in nearby reserves in the Eastern Cape. This has put everyone on high alert. However, we do have a dedicated group of both permanent rangers and volunteers checking fencelines daily and mounting regular counter-poaching operations. This is the most important step in preventing poaching.

We only have black rhino in Addo which are a bit more elusive than the white rhino that were targeted in the private game reserves. Black rhino prefer thick bushy areas as they are browsers while white rhino, being grazers, frequent open grassland. White rhino are more social than black rhino and are often found in small groups. These two factors make white rhino easier to locate and target than black rhino.

Let's hope the criminals will be brought to justice!

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:32 am 
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Thanks everyone for the update and for the information provided Megan. It does give comfort. Just a question: Don't you have whites in the Nyati section?

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:09 am 
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There are no white rhinos in the Park. They do not naturally (historically)occur in this area and so we would not have introduced them.

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:44 am 
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Poachers caught!!

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 Post subject: Re: How safe are the Addo rhinos?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Also heard the good news on Algoa FM (alla internet) this morning. I know what I would have done with one of those horns that they chopped off. :evil:

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