Current Weather
The Spy FM

Despite Protection Efforts, Rhino Poaching Soars

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
November 28, 2012

Just a few years ago, rhino poaching appeared to be more or less under control.

Shootings were relatively rare, and about 75 percent of the world’s rhinos lived in South Africa, a country that has taken extensive efforts to protect them.

Just 13 rhinos were reported killed worldwide in 2007. But the figure has been surging in recent years and has already hit 588 so far this year, according to conservation groups.

An estimated 25,000 rhinos remain in Africa.

The rhino horn market has created a network of armed gangs. Helicopters, night vision gear, and silenced rifles are used by poachers to wound or kill rhinos, which are often sedated with drugs acquired from veterinarians who have been bribed, reports The Guardian. Chain saws are used to saw off the rhino’s horns, many times while they are still alive.

The primary destination for the horns is Asia.

In Vietnam, for example, rhino horns sell as if they were cocaine. The horns have become a “drug” of choice for wealthy Vietnamese buyers who often grind and snort the powder, believing it improves sexual performance, wards off or cures cancer and relieves hangovers.

The South African government has deployed soldiers to help protect the animals and drones that attempt to track and monitor poachers. Security contractors that worked in Iraq and Afghanistan are being hired privately.

Some game parks cut off the rhino horns to make them worthless to poachers. Others spray pesticide on the horns to give them a bright stain, detracting from their value.

Just a 90-minute drive from cosmopolitan Johannesburg, there is a raging bush war going on between poachers and workers at the Finfoot Lake Reserve.

This month, eight rhinos were killed at Finfoot. Before one rhino mother died, she somehow managed to walk to the boundary of the reserve.

“She had physically come to the road to die, to say, ‘I’m dying, come fetch my calf,’ ” Marc Lappeman, who runs the reserve with his father, Miles, told The Associated Press.

The Lappemans arm themselves to defend their rhinos, which they personally breed.

“We are willing to die for these animals,” he said. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 12AM The Night Shift

The Night Shift

All of our hosts live and breathe the lifestyle of their music genre, but none define it like David Goad, host of the Darkwave show, The Night Shift. He has a degree in guitar performance from the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma and is the lead vocalist for two bands, Of the Tower and Kali Ra.

Listen Live Now!

12AM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center