Rhino poaching declines in South Africa's largest park

The number of poached rhinos found in Kruger National Park between January and the end of August has declined by 18 percent from the same period last year.

A White Rhino is captured by conservation officials in South Africa's Kruger National Park, August 3, 2015.

Protection efforts in South Africa's biggest wildlife park have reduced rhino poaching there, though poaching syndicates may be moving operations to parks elsewhere in the country, a top official said Sunday.

The carcasses of 458 poached rhinos were found in Kruger National Park between January and the end of August, down about 18 percent from the same period last year, said Edna Molewa, South Africa's environmental affairs minister.

The African News Agency quoted Molewa as saying that poaching groups may be responding to pressure in Kruger park by killing more rhinos in other areas, although rhino poaching nationwide is still down from last year. Areas where rhino poaching has increased include the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and the Northern Cape.

Poachers killed 36 elephants this year in Kruger park, a worrying development in an area that had been mostly unaffected by the Africa-wide slaughter of elephants. A study released last month reported a big decline in the number of Africa's savannah elephants in the past decade as international and domestic ivory trades drove poachingacross the continent.

"It is also of concern that we have also begun experiencing an increase in elephant poaching, despite the vigorous and determined efforts by our rangers, the police, and soldiers on the ground," Molewa said.

A total of 414 alleged poachers have been arrested in South Africa so far this year, nearly half of them in Kruger park, according to the South African government. The park, which is almost the size of Israel, is infiltrated daily by teams of poachers, many of whom come from neighboring Mozambique.

Record numbers of rhinos have been killed in South Africa in recent years to meet demand for their horns in parts of Asia, particularly Vietnam. Consumers believe rhino horn, which is ground into powder, has medicinal benefits, but there is no scientific evidence to support the belief.

South Africa had implemented a moratorium on sale of rhino horn in 2009 with the hope of curbing poaching but the ban appeared to have had the opposite effect, with the number of poached rhinos rising steadily each year since the ban was imposed. The country's Supreme Court of Appeal officially lifted the ban in May.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Rhino poaching declines in South Africa's largest park
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today