Skukuza – A stand-off between a wounded rhino and her attacker ended in the death of a poacher near Skukuza late yesterday afternoon. It would appear as though the rhino was maimed by the poacher before she stampeded and trampled him to death.
The rhino succumbed to its wounds and died at the scene moments later. Park rangers came across the scene later that evening.
“It was quite a profound moment for us,” said one game ranger. “Never before had we witnessed anything as ironic as a poacher and his victim lying side by side.”
Latest statistics have shown that 695 rhino have been butchered since the start of the 2014 season. In stark contrast, only 165 arrests have been made.
At the current rate the rhino will be extinct before the end of the decade. Create awareness for this noble plight of the Rhino andshare this post and help save the rhino.
I would just like to make a couple of points for your consideration and would appreciate if you read and comment:
- The culture and beliefs affecting Rhino poaching are not locally based and hence we have very little chance of altering their cultural views on it.
- Since Rhino poaching awareness has been raised, more Rhinos are being poached than ever before
- We currently have stockpiles (private and government stockpiles) of Rhino horn of over 20 tons with an estimated street value of between 5 and 7 Billion Rand or 700 million Dollars
While these all seem to be separate issues they are intricately interconnected and I would like to explain why:
The reason for the Rhino horn trade is due to the cultural beliefs of Asian nations, while this belief is not new, in scale it is currently bigger than ever before. The simple reason? The value of Rhino horn is directly linked to the economic market forces behind it. As with gold and all things valuable, stockpiles are currently being kept. The reason why Gold and all other rarities don’t lose value is because of these stockpiles. You see, if there is a demand for something and you want to drive the value up, you limit the supply. Economics 101…
So thus, to make poaching (which the poachers need to risk their lives for) less feasible all we need to do is apply simple economics. My suggestions are. Over a period of a couple of months, we need to get all the rhino horn out of our stockpiles and flood the market by legally trading Rhino horn. A couple of months would be short enough of a period to drastically reduce the street value of Rhino horn due to the increase in supply while being a long enough period to replenish stockpiles (which we do anyway to prevent poaching) and long enough to impact the illegal trade’s cash flow to ensure they cannot continue making a business out of Rhino horn.
The charities and organisations surrounding Rhinos and their protection are very well intentioned, but they are not reaching results because they are failing to address the root cause of the problem (economic driving forces) and instead are putting band aids on the problem. More guards, more surveillance etc. are all useless when there is a massive and very valuable resource involved, and the reason is simple, people are corruptible by money…if there is no money to pay the poachers and bribe the guards, police, etc. the power is removed.
And let us not forget our own destruction in the devastation of animal species mainly due to industrial development, you see the biggest factor in the extinction of species has not been the poacher or the hunter, it has been the 1st world’s destruction of habitats occupied by our beast brothers and sisters. Peace
By: Louis Schoeman