Amid rhino poaching frenzy, dark days for South African society

rhinos in south africa“As much as we’ve got informants outside [in the syndicates], we’ve got informants in our own ranks,” one SANParks guy who didn’t want to be named told me. He knew that National Park staff had been approached by syndicate members. “I’ll guarantee you 90 percent of the time it’s [intel] coming from inside… We do believe this rot has set in right to the senior-most levels.”

This is a long, challenging read, but if you want to get your head round the escalating crisis in rhino poaching, this is the place to start.

 In Brief 

  • “South Africa is in the eye of a global rhino-poaching cyclone, with 393 animals slaughtered in the first third of 2015 — an 18 percent increase compared to 2014.”
  • “SANParks, South Africa’s national parks agency, estimates that 15 rhino poaching teams operate in Kruger every night. “
  • “I tell the antipoacher that the head of another South African national park told me he only trusts 50 percent of his staff. The antipoacher replies sharply that he trusts zero percent of the guys he works with.”
  • “At legal wildlife auctions held in South Africa, a live rhino can fetch a breeder or a game reserve about $30,000. Killed for its horn, the same rhino could be worth 10 times more — $300,000.”

 In Depth 

 In the Future 

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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