An employee from South African National Parks (SANParks) and a police officer were among the 13 poaching suspects arrested in the Kruger National Park this week. The group reportedly had firearms and ammunition in their possession. South Africa is home to the continent’s largest rhino population—about 20,000 rhino—and has borne the brunt of the poaching crisis.
The government of South Africa recently closed its public comment period regarding a proposal to legalize the domestic trade of rhino horn. Under the proposed legislation, foreigners with a permit would be able to export up to two horns for “personal purposes.” The following is a statement from Philip Muruthi, vice president for species protection from the African Wildlife Foundation:
Earlier this week, poachers reportedly broke into a zoo in Thoiry, France, killing a 4-year-old white rhinoceros and removing its horn. The following is a statement from Philip Muruthi, vice president for species protection at the African Wildlife Foundation, in response to the news.
For the second consecutive year, South Africa has announced a drop in rhino poaching numbers compared to the previous year. The country lost 1,054 rhino to poaching in 2016, down from 1,175 in 2015 and 1,215 in 2014. While the trend shows movement in the right direction for the country’s rhino, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) finds that the current rate of poaching, with a rhino killed every eight hours, remains unacceptable.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Police Friday raided a palatial home in the suburbs of the capital and arrested three men believed to be dealers in the illegal ivory trade. The law enforcement agents, who were acting on a tip from the Natural Resources Conservation Network, a local non-governmental organization, also seized an estimated 1.5 tons of ivory products during the Friday evening raid.