Rhino Poaching Falls Dramatically In South Africa During CoVid-19 Lockdown

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Rhino Poaching Falls Dramatically In South Africa During CoVid-19 Lockdown

South Africa has revealed that it has seen a dramatic fall in rhino poaching over the last six months. With travel restrictions in place, it has made it far more difficult for poachers to make their way into nature reserves and the areas where rhinos live. Conservationists also say that the implementation of certain anti-poaching policies within South Africa has also assisted in the decline.


Rhinos are often hunted and killed by trophy hunters, wishing to show off the fact that they killed such a large powerful animal, or by poachers motivated by financial gain. Rhino’s horns, which are often removed, can fetch more per gram than gold as they are used for ornamentation and in herbal medicines, particularly in the far-East.


The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa, Barbara Creecy, stated that in the first 6 months of 2020 166 rhinos were killed, this compared to 316 in the first half of 2019. These numbers are still shocking but at least show some improvement.


Worryingly, as the lockdown measures in South Africa have been lifted, there has been a slight uptick in the number of rhinos killed.


South Africa has in recent years poured huge resources into tackling poachers, and lengthy prison sentences have been applied, with up to 20 years in prison in some cases. 100 poachers have been arrested in 2020 alone. Other methods of halting the ivory trade have involved placing sniffer dogs at airports seeking those that are looking to export ivory out of the country, and, in some cases, even sedating and removing the horns from rhinos, thereby making them a less attractive target.


While rhinos once dominated the African continent, their numbers have dropped dramatically over the last 100 years. At the start of the 20th century, there were an estimated 500,000 rhinos in the wild across both Africa and Asia. By 1970 this had fallen to 70,000, and today there are only 29,000 left. The overwhelming majority of these creatures live in natural reserves and wildlife parks due to the threat posed by hunters.


The Black, Sumatran and Java rhino are considered critically endangered.

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Thinking Humanity: Rhino Poaching Falls Dramatically In South Africa During CoVid-19 Lockdown
Rhino Poaching Falls Dramatically In South Africa During CoVid-19 Lockdown
South Africa has revealed that it has seen a dramatic fall in rhino poaching over the last six months. With travel restrictions in place, it has made it far more difficult for poachers to make their way into nature reserves and the areas where rhinos live. Conservationists also say that the implementation of certain anti-poaching policies within South Africa has also assisted in the decline. Rhinos are often hunted and killed by trophy hunters, wishing to show off the fact that they killed such a large powerful animal, or by poachers motivated by financial gain.
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