Friday, 11 January 2013

Three white rhinos poached on the Kruger National Park

New Year, same dire news from the Kruger January 2013. South African National Parks (SANParks) have announced that three rhinos had been lost since the beginning of the year. The animals were lost in two separate incidents. A hunting rifle and two sets of horns were recovered. 
Two rhino killed by Mozambique poaching group
In the first incident, two white rhino were shot and killed on the Houtboschrand section of the Kruger National Park (KNP). According to Abe Sibiya, Managing Executive at KNP, "indications are that the two animals were shot on the 1st of January by a poaching group from Mozambique, their horns were removed and the group escaped". Wildlife Extra wonders if the horns are the ones recovered at Ho Chi Minh airport in Vietnam a few days later.

Rhino killed on Lower Sabie
In the second incident, rangers deployed in the Lower Sabie area, made contact with a group of three poachers. Shots were exchanged and the three managed to escape but left behind a high calibre hunting rifle and a bag containing a set of rhino horns. In a follow up operation, the carcass of a white rhino, with horns missing was discovered. "This is not an ideal way to start the year but the initiatives that we have put in place, especially the aerial surveillance one is teaching us a lot and we are making a lot of progress" said Sibiya.

Two Vietnamese men arrested and 10 rhino horns seized at Asian airports
Both men had just flown from Africa
January 2013. Two Vietnamese men have been arrested in separate incidents in possession of rhino horns.

The first man was arrested at Ho Chi Minh airport in possession of 6 rhino horns. He had just arrived from Mozambique via Doha and Bangkok with 16.5 kilograms of rhino horn. Customs police searched his baggage due to the overpowering smell emanating from his bags.

The second man, another Vietnamese, was arrested at Bangkok airport in possession of 4 rhino horns. He had flown from Ethiopia and was arrested after a tip off.

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