Rhino poaching in South Africa has been consistently escalating over the past few years despite the government’s attempts to reduce it. Poaching is considered one of the most serious crimes in South Africa. Poachers can get up to 25 years in prison. Also, rhino horn poisoning has been introduced in an attempt to prevent poaching. However, this has done little in deterring it. According to Wildlife South Africa, 448 rhinos where killed in 2011. By the 14th of February 2012, 47 rhinos had been killed in 2012, which means that at least one rhino is killed each day. Consequently, the South African rhino is now on the brink of extinction. It is therefore important for us to do something to save this species.
If rhinos are still getting killed, either the poachers have connections inside the game reserve or the government is not doing enough to protect rhinos and curb poaching. The government has the power to install state-of-the-art security technologies in game parks where rhinos are kept. This may be considered a waste of money which could be used for other purposes. However, tourism is an important source of revenue in South Africa. Tourists come from all over the world to see animals they don’t have in their countries. Several species of rhino have gone extinct in different countries which did not do enough to protect them. It is important for government to invest more money in tourism and take the issue of poaching more seriously by tightening security in national parks. It is the only effective way to forestall the extinction of the South African rhino.
There is not much we as the public can do to protect rhinos. However, we can anonymously report poachers so that they can be brought to book. The Hawks Rhino hotline is 071 348 8630. More details can be obtained from StopRhinoPoaching.com.