Game auc­tion raises al­most R4 mil­lion

The Mercury - - NEWS - Nosipho Mn­goma

EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife held another suc­cess­ful game auc­tion yes­ter­day, rais­ing al­most R4 mil­lion to­wards con­ser­va­tion.

There were 449 an­i­mals for sale at the auc­tion, held at the Hluh­luwe-iM­folozi Park.

Among them were three adult male white rhino, aged be­tween five and seven years old. There were also two fe­male rhino which were sold with de­pen­dent male calves. One bid­der spent R300 000 on the most prized rhino, while oth­ers went for an av­er­age of al­most R75 000.

De­spite all be­ing de­horned, the rhino col­lec­tively sold for R825 000, an amount only sur­passed by buf­falo on auc­tion.

There were no bovines on the auc­tion list be­tween 2012 and 2016. How­ever, last year, they sold for al­most R50 000. This year, 34 of them brought in R972 000 with a bid­der spend­ing R96 000 on one.

Ezemvelo spokesper­son Musa Mn­tambo said they have been auc­tion­ing game twice a year since 1989. This was part of con­ser­va­tion ef­forts.

“When a game re­serve has reached its ca­pac­ity for a cer­tain an­i­mal, it is put up for auc­tion.” Sell­ing off of some an­i­mals also served to di­ver­sify the gene pool, said Mn­tambo.

While there was no com­mu­nity levy at this auc­tion, part of the pro­ceeds go to­wards the peo­ple liv­ing in and around the re­serves.

“We can’t have peo­ple liv­ing in poverty when there is a game re­serve in their area. So the com­mu­nity levy goes to­wards the com­mu­nity’s needs,” said Mn­tambo.

Ezemvelo uses the rest of the pro­ceeds for con­ser­va­tion.

Con­tribut­ing to the R3 759 950 made, were 136 ze­bra which brought in al­most R400 000. Just five hip­pos brought in al­most the same amount. More than half this amount was brought in by 25 wa­ter­buck, 60 Red Har­te­beest and 82 Blue Wilde­beest.

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