70th birthday safari
However, the picture is far from straightforward. What appears to be a success story on the surface, on further investigation reveals a worrying emerging trend.
While there has been a nearly 20% decrease in the number of poached rhino in the Kruger National Park specifically (a total of 662 rhino carcasses in 2016 compared to 826 in 2015) the number of rhino poached in other national parks and reserves has increased significantly. Feeling the pressure from the interventions and ranger presence in the KNP the transnational poaching syndicates are deploying further afield.
The most recent massacre took place over the full-moon of 11 May 2017 when nine fresh rhino carcasses were found dead and dehorned at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa’s oldest game reserve and the cradle of global rhino conservation.
A month earlier and also over full moon, while on safari in Madikwe Game Reserve, NWS Sales Manager Arabella Worthington witnessed the aftermath of two white rhino shot by poachers. Arabella asked her guide how many rhinos there are in the reserve but due to confidentiality to protect them, even he didn’t know, though the reserve has white and black rhino, with more white rhino than black.