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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rhinos now being poisoned

Is the only solution cutting off the rhino horns like they did with elephant tusks in the 80s/90s or could the amount of funds it would require to undertake that be used to up anti-poaching patrols? -MA
Thanks to Louwtjie dT for the link

From News24

Rhinos are now being poisoned

Johannesburg – A wildlife organisation warned on Wednesday that rhino poachers were now reverting to poison to kill the animals. Wildlife Ranching SA operational manager Reinhardt Holtzhausen said 14 cabbage halves sprinkled with poison were found on a game farm in Mookgophong at the weekend. He came across the heap by chance while driving through the game farm with his friend.

"The rhinos were literally 100m from the spot where we found the heap of cabbages. Luckily we could remove all of them before any damage was done." He said the cabbages were placed in the vicinity of rhino middens. Rhinos have the habit of visiting their dung piles often, and then eating whatever food has been planted there.

Clever people
"These are clever people; they obviously know the rhinos' habits," said Holtzhausen. Seven cabbages were cut in half and sprinkled with blue crystals, smaller than the size of ground pepper corns. Holtzhausen said he suspected the poison was either curaterr or albicarap and had been sent to the police for forensic tests."We are waiting for the results," he said.

Last week, a group of people, including two veterinarians and a game farmer, appeared in the Musina Magistrate's Court for allegedly being part of a rhino poaching syndicate.

More than 200 rhinos have already been killed by poachers this year, compared to 122 the whole of last year.

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