Namibia: Rhino Killed, Another Wounded in Hardap

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16 November 2018

A DEHORNED carcass of a rhino suspected to have been shot by poachers in the Hardap region was found on Saturday.

The environment ministry's spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, confirmed the discovery of the carcass yesterday.

He said the poachers also shot and wounded a second rhino which was later treated.

Muyunda could, however, not divulge the exact location where the rhino was shot because of security reasons, only saying some rhinos have been in that area since 1990.

He added that the ministry would step up security measures in the area to combat poaching.

The police's protected resources unit (PRU) has now launched an investigation into the poaching incident, but no arrests have been made yet. This incident, revealed Muyunda, brings Namibia's total poached rhinos and elephants this year to 53 and 26, respectively.

Rhino horn is made of keratin - the same substance as human hair and fingernails - yet it is highly sought after in Asia, where consumers believe its ground form can cure hangovers, or be used as an aphrodisiac.

Muyunda said the ministry is committed and determined to combat rhino poaching that is escalating at an unprecedented rate in the country.

"It has become a concern. It is like stealing. It only benefits a few," he stated, appealing to the public to report incidents of people plundering the country's wildlife resources. He warned that the poaching of wildlife has an impact on tourism, and could affect future visitor numbers to the country.

Efforts to get comment on the latest rhino poaching incident in the Hardap region from the head of the police's PRU, deputy commissioner Barry de Klerk, were unsuccessful.

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