The slaughtering of rhinos for their horns is a sad phenomenon that has swept through this country for years. Money and manpower is invested in protecting these beautiful creatures that might otherwise have been deployed elsewhere.
It is not a simple matter of trying to catch poachers before they harm an animal: killing is involved – of both beast and man. Some sources have described the situation as war. Several game sanctuaries in the form of national or provincial parks and private game reserves and game farms are within easy reach of the town I live in. Some of the people who work there live in this town, or shop here, or send their children to school here. When a rhino is slaughtered nearby, sections of this community feel the pain as if it were their own: we mix with the people for whom the sadness is very real. So it is that the fate of the white rhino has become close to the hearts of our community and their plight is felt even by young children, who have shown their concern ranging from celebrating the rhino on birthday cakes.
To raising funds and awareness on a much larger scale.
There is a local Rhino Run too.
I have shown these images before and here they serve to illustrate the appreciation of rhinos that runs through our community – they live nearby and so reports of rhino poaching elsewhere in the country strikes a chord here: what about ‘our’ rhino; will they be safe?
In June 2016, rhino poaching hit home – hard. It was reported that three suspects had been arrested at the Makana Resort in our town. They were linked to the poaching of rhino at Buckland’s Private Game Reserve, where it is suspected the rhino was darted before it was killed and its horn hacked off. Even though the men had been caught red-handed in a chalet with a 10.27 kilograms of freshly harvested rhino horn valued at R1 million‚ a bloody saw‚ a dart gun and M99 tranquilising drug, as well as cell phones and SIM cards, it has taken until now for them to be brought to book.
Earlier this month the three rhino poachers, 40-year-old Forget Ndlovu, 38-year-old Jabulani Ndlovu and 37-year-old Skhumbuzo Ndlovu, faced over 50 charges related to the poaching of 13 rhinos across the Eastern Cape and were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment each in the Grahamstown High Court.
If you wish to read more detailed reports go to: