The all out war against the Rhino continues unabated in South Africa. Last week alone eleven of the magnificent animals were slaughtered in Kruger Naitonal Park by poachers. This brings the total killed this year in South Africa alone to a haunting 553.
In Kruger, which is the major battleground against rhino poachers, 345 have been killed since the first of the year. At this pace, it is possible that over 800 plus rhino could be killed in South Africa this year compared to over 600 last year.
Step up efforts by the government are clearly visible to visitors. On a recent visit, helicopters were flying over the Park at night - especially doing the full moon. On land, you often would run into Army patrols on foot looking for poachers with the assistance of the air team.
The head of South African National Parks, Dr. David Mabunda, believes an additional $100 million of resources is necessary in order to effectively combat poachers who have sophisticated equipment and ample resources. Dr. Mabunda is one of the most ardent fighters against poachers in Africa.
In addition, many of the private reserves, led by the pioneering efforts of Singita, are stepping up their battle against the poachers. The reserves are using their trackers and rangers to report footprints or other signs of poachers to a central command. There is reason to be encouraged that the war against poaching, at least in South Africa, is reaching effectiveness.