South Africa: 232 Rhinos Killed in 107 Days

At least 232 rhinos have been killed in South Africa during the first 107 days of 2013. Image © Annamiticus
At least 232 rhinos have been killed in South Africa during the first 107 days of 2013. Image © Annamiticus

The illegal rhino horn trade has claimed the lives of at least 232 rhinos in South Africa during the first 107 days of 2013, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.

While recent arrests and jail sentences have been praised by the Department, research done by fact-checking website Africa Check revealed that the prosecution rate for rhino crimes in South Africa is abysmally low.

Between January 2010 and July 2012, for instance, 573 people were arrested for rhino related crimes. Yet, in 2012, only 28 accused were convicted in 20 cases.

In fact, the majority of people who are in jail for rhino crimes in South Africa are low-level “poachers” and Vietnamese couriers, says Julian Rademeyer, author of Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade. Rademeyer spoke at length about the involvement of “game industry insiders” on our podcast, South Africa’s Rhino Horn Dealers.

Although there is no doubt that the demand for rhino horn is mainly from Vietnam and China, the repeated involvement of South Africa’s game industry insiders continues to evade public scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Hanoi-based Education for Nature-Vietnam has launched an innovative campaign to make it socially unacceptable to use rhino horn in Vietnam.


Source: sanews.gov.za

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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.