Boere rhino mafia suspects arrested, news from Ol Jogi, and our Valentine’s Auction goes live!
At Rhino HQ we’re anxiously awaiting for South Africa to publish its annual poaching statistics. Will 2016 show another decline in Kruger National Park? Are poachers changing tactics and location again? Hopefully next month we’ll know more. Until then, we hope you enjoy our RhiNews round-up for January.
In our first missive of the new year, we cover news that poachers linked to the "Boere rhino mafia" have been arrested in South Africa, report on increasing tensions between Namibia and its 100,000-strong Chinese community against a backdrop of escalating wildlife crime, and investigate the rise of rhino orphanages. Are they a good use of funds? Meanwhile, Jamie Gaymer from Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy shares recent success from Kenya.
Ten years ago the arrests of the van Deventer brothers for rhino poaching uncovered the "Boere rhino mafia", a criminal ring operating in South Africa, and shed light on the role of pseudo-hunts in illegal rhino poaching. The brothers entered a plea bargain: shorter sentences in exchange for information on their bosses, but at the last minute they changed their minds and the case against the kingpins collapsed. Now, Nick and Deon van Deventer have been arrested again in Limpopo province…
China’s role in Namibian’s wildlife trafficking sees tensions reach boiling point
Namibia’s Chamber of the Environment has published an open letter the Chinese Ambassador in Windhoek, arguing that "until the arrival of Chinese in significant numbers in Namibia, commercial wildlife crime was extremely low."
Supported by 40 organisations including Save the Rhino Trust, our key partner in Namibia, the letter’s signatories call on the Chinese government to acknowledge the scale of Chinese involvement in wildlife crime and "make good" on the country’s financial losses.
One of the most emotive consequences of Africa’s poaching crisis is the huge rise in number of orphaned rhino calves. Across South Africa and other countries, a range of rhino orphanages have sprung up.
As part of our "Thorny Issues" series, Save the Rhino investigates how well rhino orphanages fare, and debates whether this is a strand of work we would consider funding…
Featured from the field
Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy
Helping a blind calf see
The team at Ol Jogi were delighted when a new rhino calf was born in 2016. But the happy occasion soon caused concern when rangers realised the calf was suffering from an eye infection so serious that it could scupper its chances of survival.
Real Africa’s #RealRhino campaign takes off
Thank you to Real Africa for their recent donation of £3,603.50, split between Save the Rhino’s core funds – so we can spend it where the need is most urgent – and Kenya’s anti-poaching Dog Squad.
Real Africa are currently raising funds through their #RealRhinos Raffle. You can buy your ticket online for just £1 to have the chance to win a luxury safari for two in Kenya’s stunning Laikipia region – home to many of Kenya’s black rhinos, and their canine friends.