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    • October 23, 2015 2:12 PM EDT
    • <p>What's your top 5 African plains game species? And have you hunted them or planning on hunting them?</p>

    • May 15, 2013 9:17 AM EDT
    • [size= small][b]JOHANNESBURG - A rhino poacher has been wounded in a shootout with rangers in the Pretoriuskop section of the Kruger National Park.[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]Three poachers were confronted by rangers on Tuesday night which led to a shootout after which two poachers were caught and the third managed to escape.[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]SANPark's Ike Phaahla said, “A rifle, ammunition and an axe were found in their possession. The third suspect unfortunately managed to escape.”[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]The two men will appear in court on Thursday.[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]Over 200 rhino have been poached since the beginning of 2013.[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]On Monday, three men appeared in court in KwaZulu-Natal for rhino poaching.[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]The trio was arrested last week in the Nisela Nature Reserve after an unlicensed firearm and 10 rounds of ammunition were found in their vehicle.[/b][/size]

      [size= small][b]At least 668 rhino were poached throughout the country during 2012.[/b][/size]

    • April 5, 2013 9:10 AM EDT
    • Forget The Drug War–Time To Throw Those Forces Into The Poaching War

      [url=]Tim Zimmermann[/url]


      Whistling past the graveyard…and wondering if the revolution will ever begin.
      Forget The Drug War–Time To Throw Those Forces Into The Poaching War
      tags: [url=]extinction[/url], [url=]military assistance[/url], [url=]poaching[/url], [url=]rhino horn[/url]

      [url=]This[/url] excellent, in-depth look at the forces driving rhino poaching, and the difficulties of stopping it in time, won’t make you optimistic. But it’s [url=]one of the best articles I’ve read yet[/url]:

      The figures are shocking: At the beginning of the 20th century there were 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia; in 1970 there were 70,000; today, there are fewer than 29,000 rhinos surviving in the wild.

      Killing rhinos for their horns is a “complex problem where values of tradition and culture have been corrupted in the name of commercial exploitation”, says Jason Bell, Southern Africa director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

      “Be it elephants and ivory, tigers and tiger parts, rhinos and rhino horn, the endpoint is the same – profit. And that profit is being chased down in the most brutal fashion by organised crime syndicates who are fearless in their pursuit of the prize,” he says.

      In the 1970s, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned international commercial trade in rhino products.
      However, the black-market trade in wildlife is now a multibillion-dollar industry, trafficked on much the same lines as arms and illegal drugs.

      “The recognition that illicit wildlife trafficking is a new form of transnational organised crime should be a wake-up call to governments worldwide,” says Wendy Elliott, global species programme manager of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). She wants governments to increase their law-enforcement responses to wildlife crime.
      [/quote] [quote]
      A number of things jumped out at me. 1) Any commodity that is worth $66,000 a kilo (making an average rhino horn worth more than $300,000)  is going to motivate poachers to go to almost any length, and take any risk, to cash in. 2) The complete disconnect between the myth of rhino horn’s medicinal qualities (cure cancer?) and the reality (the horn is just keratin, the same substance as human fingernails). And 3) the involvement of organized crime, which is not a surprise given the value of the trade.

      You put all those things together, and it is hard not to feel that the human forces driving the poaching (greed, obsession with magical cures and medicines, an almost complete lack of compassion or interest in preserving the wild) have built up such powerful momentum that even extreme anti-poaching efforts will not buy enough time to change the underlying forces.

      That doesn’t mean that the fight to stop poaching and the rhino horn trade should be abandoned. If anything, it needs to be intensified dramatically. And here is the one thing I think needs to be happen as we look at catastrophic poaching on land and at sea around the globe: stopping it needs to become a priority goal for military cooperation and assistance programs. Pull the forces and investment that we waste on the drug war and throw them into the fight against poaching and you might see some impressive results. It’s not guaranteed to turn the tide in time, but there is a desperate need for a radically different approach because what we are doing now–whether it is elephants, rhinos, tigers, sharks or regulation-evading factory fishing ships–simply isn’t working well enough.

      Getting there would require a transformative update of our notions of global “security” and “threat.” But dealing with climate change and protecting the fragile ecosystems we depend on are missions that are as (or more) important than most of the traditional missions we accept without question.

    • March 31, 2013 8:15 AM EDT
    • CANTERBURY, England, March 30 (UPI) -- Police said they increased patrols around British wildlife reserves after officials warned poachers might be planning to hunt down rare rhinoceros living there.

      A spokesman for the Aspinall Foundation warned that poachers could be planning to hunt down the 20 rare black rhinos that live at the foundation's two reserves near Canterbury.

      Parks manager Bob O'Connor said it was impossible to say how serious the threat is, but the parks have increased night-time patrols "and we are asking local people to work with our staff to increase the number of patrols."

      O'Connor told the BBC Kent police relayed a warning from a tipster that poachers had their eye on the rhino horns, which are used in Asian traditional medicine and can fetch a high price.

      "Over the last few years there has been a trend for breaking into museums and stealing stuffed rhino heads for their horns, including one recently in Kent," he said.