This is war

Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - FEATURE -

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.

Un­sung he­roes

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.

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