This is war
Rhinos are targeted because, according to eastern medicine, their horns are believed to be a cure for many ailments, including cancer. Contrary to the myth, ground rhino horn is not considered an aphrodisiac in Asia. Its most common use is as a hangover cure and, now that the value GaR RJyQoBJDSDC Ro RHFMHfiBaMSKy, aR FHfSR So help sign business deals. It is an utter tragedy that rhino are literally being hunted to extinction over this. When you consider that the horn is made of keratin, the same material as human GaHQ aMC fiMFDQ MaHKR, HS RDDLR a QHCHBuKouR reason to slaughter rhino over; they could just bite their nails a bit more. However, whether it works as medicine or not is not high on the poachers’ priority list. As long as rhino horn remains more expensive than cocaine, gold or platinum at over R600 000 per kilogram, there will be people willing to take the risks of acquiring it. TGD BuQQDMS QGHMo- OoaBGHMF BQHRHR oM the Mozambique border has become so severe that it has led the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa ( GRAA) to label it an issue of national security in South Africa. TGD & 1 BKaHLR SGaS AaMCR of professionally trained and armed militia are DMSDQHMF SGD KQuFDQ NaSHoMaK / aQJ SGQouFG the Mozambique border to plunder South fQHBa’R MaSuQaK QDRouQBDR. “TGDRD aBSHoMR are tantamount to acts of war and such actions are putting not only South African citizens at risk, but also one of South Africa’s economic sectors, namely tourism,” reads a statement released by the GRAA. It does not believe that rangers should be held responsible for protecting South Africa’s borders in the event of what it believes are armed incursions into the country. “Game rangers operate in a constrained environment in terms of resources and legal boundaries compared So SGaS of SGD LHKHSaQy. TGD BuQQDMS OoaBGHMF situation needs to be moved beyond the responsibility of the Department of EMvHQoMLDMSaK ffaHQR. TGD fiMaMBHaK OQDRRuQD ADHMF fDKS SGQouFG SGD CDflDBSHoM of CuSy So SGD DDOaQSLDMS of EMvHQoMLDMSaK ffaHQR and, ultimately, conservation, needs to be challenged,” says the GRAA.
South African explorer Kingsley Holgate recently embarked on the Izintaba ZoAoLAo EWODCHSHoM So QaHRD awaQDMDRR of rhino poaching in Mozambique. Part of the expedition was to donate a fully kitted out LaMC 1ovDQ So / QoIDBS 1GHMo KZN’R aMSHOoaBGHMF DffoQSR. On their travels through Mozambique, the group encountered a few unsung heroes in the war against rhino poaching. Sitting aQouMC a fiQD uMCDQ a FHaMS CGaLfuSa SQDD, they met Rafael Chomane Chauque, a Shangaan ranger at Shongile Game Reserve on the Mozambique side of the Kruger NaSHoMaK / aQJ. CGauPuD SoKC SGD RSoQy of how much he loves rhino and how, when he aMC GHR fDKKow QaMFDQR fiMC QGHMo oM SGDHQ side of the border, they herd them back into South Africa. 1GHMo CHRODQRD wHSG SGD fiQRS QaHMR of SGD season and often move out of the Kruger NaSHoMaK / aQJ HMSo 2GoMFHKD. TGHR BaM AD extremely dangerous as the villages are home to many rhino poachers. Apparently, if left unprotected, the rhino are usually shot wHSGHM 48 GouQR of aQQHvHMF HM , oYaLAHPuD. To BouMSDQ SGHR, RHW So 10 QaMFDQR FDS together and form a wall around the rhino and herd them back to the South African AoQCDQ. ( S HR a CHffiBuKS OQoBDRR, aR HS ofSDM takes more than one attempt to turn the rhino around. It may take many days before the rhinos are comfortable with eating and sleeping with humans in the vicinity.
As long as rhino horn’s street value exceeds cocaine and gold, there will always be those willing to take the risk in order to get it.