17 May Selective Dehorning of Rhino by SANParks
Below is part of the media release by the South African National Parks Board in relation to the steps that are now going to be taken in order to curb poaching of female rhino’s that have calves with them or are preparing for birth of a calf. Sometimes drastic measures need to be taken, in order to try and save these animals that are edging ever closer to instinction if nothing is done to curb this practice now. We are currently in a war situation as it is , with all the incursions taking place into the Kruger National Park by poaching groups. So we have to be even more vigilant, and have no mercy on these people when they are caught poaching or even making their way to a poaching area.
South African National Parks (SANParks) and conservation partners in the Greater Kruger Region are collaboratively implementing a range of interventions as part of an integrated wildlife management approach to counter the effects of rhino poaching. As part of several initiatives, certain entities have embarked on strategic dehorning of selected rhinos in the Greater Kruger Protected Area landscape.
KNP will implement a range of integrated management actions to minimise the impact of rhino poaching on the population numbers, including the selective dehorning of rhino cows in certain areas in the southern part. This management tool goes hand-in-hand with strengthening security measures, information sharing on incursions and intelligence as well as continuous collaboration with law enforcement agencies. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), is being briefed extensively on the current situation in order to deliver stiff sentences to those found in possession of ammunition, high calibre rifles and trespassing in a protected area with the intention to commit a crime.
It has been established that the loss of a cow has multiple effects since it also includes the loss of a dependent calf and future calves. The multiple effects are part of various factors that affect population growth of white rhinos apart from the immediate disruptive effect of poaching. The cows are extremely important for the overall population performance and need to be protected by introducing stiffer sentences in incidents where they have been poached for their horn and a calf is left destitute.