A Vietnamese delegation — including a key National Assembly member, a well-known journalist, a national film celebrity and a senior Environmental Police officer — arrived this week in South Africa to investigate the illegal trade in rhino horn.
Following the ten-day fact-finding mission, the delegates will appear at a special press conference in Vietnam on Friday, September 20. Journalists are invited to hear them reflect on their South African experiences and celebrate the fourth annual World Rhino Day, which falls two days later on Sunday, September 22.
UPDATE 09/12/2013: ENV reports that the Vietnamese delegation joined Kruger National Park investigators as they responded to a report of a dead rhino about 20 km from the Mozambique border. The rhino had been shot and dehorned about 7 – 10 days prior to discovery. Using a metal detector, the bullet that killed the rhino was discovered. Collecting evidence such as the bullet will hopefully help investigators arrest and convict the killers.
Video from the helicopter landing near the crime scene, about 20 km from the Mozambique border:
- Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan — National Assembly member, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Science, Technology and Environment
- Mr. Nguyen Viet Tien — Environmental Police – Vice Chief of Hanoi Environmental Police, Department of Hanoi Environmental Police
- Mr. Do Doan Hoang — Journalist, Lao Dong newspaper
- Mr. Nguyen Xuan Bac — Comedian and actor
- Ms. Nguyen Phuong Dung — Vice Director, ENV
- Ms. Ninh Phuong Thao — Communications Coordinator, ENV
Before heading to Kruger National Park, the delegates attended a briefing by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and a demonstration of specially trained dogs who sniff out rhino horn in luggage.
Nguyen Xuan Bac posted on his Facebook page that visiting South Africa has been a dream come true and urged his 300,000+ fans to help protect rhinos.
“Setting foot in South Africa has been a dream of mine since I was a child … now it has come true. This is a golden chance for me to directly observe rhinos in their natural environment. It’s regretful that we lost our last rhino in 2010. Let’s lend a hand to protect rhinos. You people who grind rhino horn in the hope that it is a magical medicine must stop! You are being fooled and wasting your money, which goes only to greedy smugglers.”
In preparation for World Rhino Day, Education for Nature-Vietnam has released a new public service announcement (PSA) to increase awareness about the plight of the Africa’s rhinos. The PSA traces the path of the illegal rhino horn trade from South Africa to Vietnam, highlighting the severe consequences of Vietnam’s increasing demand for rhino horn products.
Watch Education for Nature-Vietnam’s PSA:
Learn more about the innovative work of Education for Nature-Vietnam:
- ENV website: envietnam.org
- ENV Facebook page: facebook.com/EducationforNatureVietnam
- Behind the Schemes podcast: Tackling Wildlife Crime in Vietnam