19 November 2012

South Africa: North West Considers Calling in Army As More Rhinos Are Killed

press release

The North West Provincial government is considering requesting the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist it to overcome the scourge of rhino poaching, Premier Thandi Modise said on Sunday.

Premier Modise's statement follows the killing of seven rhinos at a game farm near Sun City over the weekend. The recent rhino poaching incident brings to 21 the number of rhinos killed in the province in recent weeks.

"The cruelty and brutality against the rhino as symbol of our ecology and rich heritage has gone too far. We had hoped that the 40 year sentence that was recently imposed on self confessed rhino poaching kingpin and Thai national Chumlong Lemthongthai would serve as a deterrent but recent incidents dictate for extraordinary measures to protect our tourism and biodiversity," said the Premier.

Modise said that there is a need to clamp down on issuing of illegal hunting permits as part of intensifying law enforcement and crime intelligence to overcome the scourge of rhino poaching.

She said that communities in the proximity of gameparks and farms need to be educated and actively involved in nature conservation, tourism and anti-poaching strategies.

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