Since my first weekend in South Africa I have hear about poaching, specifically rhino poaching.There are signs in the Joburg airport pleading for President Zuma to take strong publicly against poaching, poachers, and the countries who are demanding animal parts.
This is Bonnie and Clyde and they are survivors. I first mentioned them in my post about our Freewalker Day Adventure. We saw them at Schotia Private Game Reserve. If you follow the link to their web page you’ll see that Bonnie and Clyde look very different from the images on their web site and that is because their horns were poached in a very sophisticated poaching scheme. Our guide told us the story of what happened and it is quite remarkable for its sophistication. One night helicopters were heard flying overhead. He said at first they didn’t think anything of it and then the next day Bonnie and Clyde were found, almost near death. Their horns had been removed and they were on the ground. During the poaching they’d been given sedatives but the dosage was off and they were still unconscious. The veterinarian at the game reserve was able to save them, but just barely. Our guide estimated that if poaching continues at this rate (In 2013, 1004 rhinos were poached in South Africa) the rhino will be extinct in 20 years.
I was glad when I picked up the paper yesterday and read that Warren Buffett’s son is donating money to help save the rhino. When poachers are utilizing helicopters and veterinarians to carry out the poaching, it is a sign the problem is wide-spread while the corruption is deeply rooted.