African Rhino poaching crisis

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by ibie, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. ibie

    ibie AH Veteran

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    Every other day Africa loses a rhino to poaching.

    Poaching has increased dramatically over the last year-and-a half, fueled by demand for rhino horn from the Asian market. The numbers being tallied in South Africa are grim—more than 600 rhinos were poached across the African continent in the last five years and South Africa alone has seen the loss of over 212 rhinos since 2009.

    There used to be hundreds of thousands of rhinos throughout Africa. South Africa, proud stronghold of the African black and white rhino with more than 80 percent of Africa’s total rhino population, has been losing at least 20 rhinos per month. Approximately 4,000 black rhinos and 17,500 white rhinos are all that prevent Africa’s rhinos from extinction.

    “This poaching epidemic is extremely worrying,” says Matthew Lewis, WWF African species expert. “If it is not stopped, the rhino conservation progress of the last decade will be in jeopardy, greatly affecting biodiversity as well as the tourism industry and the communities that benefit from it.”

    The increase of rhino poaching is strongly linked to growing demand from Asia. Highly organized international poaching criminal syndicates deploy advanced technologies ranging from night vision scopes, silenced weapons, darting equipment and helicopters to carry out their mission.

    Make some noise
    This September, the spotlight is on stepping up security efforts in dangerous areas with high rates of poaching, highlighting the poaching crisis among South Africans and raising funds to support the rangers who put their lives on the line to protect Africa’s rhinos.

    “We’re asking people to take action during this month to help us protect our remaining rhino populations and support our rhino warriors – the men and women at the front line who risk their lives every day against sophisticated, ruthless and heavily-armed international criminals that run the illegal rhino horn trade,” says Dr. Joseph Okori, head of WWF's African Rhino Program.
    The month will culminate with a "Make Noise for Rhinos Day" on Wednesday, September 22, 2010. At 1pm local Johannesburg time (6am EST) everyone is everyone is invited to dust off their World Cup vuvuzelas and let out a mighty sound as a symbolic call for immediate action to stop rhino poaching through strengthened law enforcement and strict legal penalties.
    At this rate soon rhino hunting will be :banned: in Africa.
  2. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    Does anybody have more info regarding the 9 people they arrested yesterday regarding the rhino poaching in SA. It seems we do have a break through.
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Cops Arrest Nine on Suspicion of Rhino Poaching

    Cops Arrest Nine on Suspicion of Rhino Poaching

    The police have busted an alleged rhino poaching ring, arresting nine people, including two veterinarians and a game farmer in Limpopo, an official said on Tuesday.

    "Nine people were arrested including two veterinarians, one of their spouses and a game farmer and his spouse," said national police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo.

    "They are expected to appear in the Musina Magistrate's Court on Wednesday."

    The nine arrests were made in early morning raids on Monday at Modimolle, Polokwane and Musina.

    The ring was linked to "hundreds of rhino poaching incidents", said Naidoo.

    The accused will face charges relating to the breach of regulations that govern the protection of wildlife.

    "This was a joint effort between the Hawks, SA National Parks, the National Prosecuting Authority and aviation authorities."

    Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday that the two veterinarians were well-known in Modimolle and owned an animal clinic and a wildlife organisation involved in catching and transporting game.

    More than 200 rhinos have been killed for their horns since the beginning of this year, up from a total of 122 rhinos poached last year, said Beeld. - Sapa


    Source: Mail & Guardian Online
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Police have arrested nine high-ranking rhino poaching syndicate members

    South African media reports say that police have arrested nine high-ranking rhino poaching syndicate members.


    Nine rhino poaching syndicate members – including two veterinarians and a game farmer – are reportedly in custody after a 6:00 AM police raid that spanned across Polokwane, Musina, and Modimolle.

    According to South Africa’s Eyewitness News, these individuals are the highest-ranking syndicate members arrested so far in the war against rhino poachers.

    The nine men are due in court on Wednesday (which happens to be World Rhino Day), and police spokesperson Vish Naidoo added that more arrests could be made in the meantime.


    Source: Rhino Conservation
  5. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    Any names released yet besides the vets, it is said that one of the guys arrested was also arrested in the US for smuggling a leopard skin this year.
  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Dr. Karel Toet and his wife, Marisa, were arrested early on Monday morning. Dr. Manie du Plessis, one of Toet’’s partners, was also arrested. They own the Nylstroom animal clinic, as well as Limpopo Wildlife, which is involved with catching and transporting game on farms. Two businessmen as well as the one businessman's wife were also behind bars, the other suspects occupations are unknown. They were arrested in Polokwane, Musina and Modimolle respectively. Last week, Tom Fourie, a well-known figure in wildlife circles in Musina, was arrested, but is already out on R2,000 bail.


    Source: various sources
  7. bee keeper

    bee keeper AH Member

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    Poachers ... just put them in Jail and forget about them ... NEXT !
  8. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    Do you know the name of the individual (PH) suspected of the smuggling. Over a year ago, a PH was arrested at the PA show and two of his clients arrested for smuggling Leopards into the US. One lives only a few blocks from me and the other 40 miles away.
  9. Gavin Lipjes

    Gavin Lipjes AH Veteran

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    Rhinos: Controversial safari operator held

    Rhinos: Controversial safari operator held

    Julian Rademeyer and Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld
    Johannesburg - The owner of a safari business, his wife and a professional hunter are among the "masterminds" who have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

    Dawie Groenewald, 42, the wealthy driving force behind Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris in Polokwane, his wife, Sariette, 34, and Tielman Erasmus, a professional hunter, are behind bars.

    They were arrested on Monday along with Dr Karel Toet and Dr Manie du Plessis, two veterinarians from Modimolle, and Toet's wife, Marisa.

    Groenewald, a former police official, was suspended from the South African Professional Hunters Association four years ago, and Zimbabwean authorities put a stop to his hunting there.

    He was arrested in the US in April this year in connection with a leopard trophy which was illegally hunted in South Africa and exported to the US. He pled guilty and was sentenced to pay a fine of $30 000 (R228 000).

    He spent eight days in prison there, over two months under house arrest and also had to pay $7 500 (R57 000) in damages to the American hunter.

    He denied in an interview with Media24's investigative team that he was involved in rhino poaching and has been forbidden from entering Zimbabwe.

    Notorious

    According to the South African Aircraft register, Groenewald is linked to a closed corporation which owns a Robinson R44 helicopter with the registration ZS-HBH.

    His wife, Sariette, is listed as a director of Valinor Trading 142 - the owner of the helicopter.

    It is a known fact that helicopters are often used during rhino poaching operations.

    Groenewald's Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris is rather notorious in hunting circles.

    They advertise hunting safaris in Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa and even Zimbabwe, despite the fact that the Zimbabwean nature conservation authority (Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority) forbade them from entering the country in September 2004.

    A Zimbabwean cabinet minister and well-known figure in conservation circles, David Coltart, had earlier described Out of Africa to Newsweek as a "cruel organisation which has no respect for the environment" and strives for "unreachable hunting quotas".

    Hunting experts in Zimbabwe allege that Out of Africa has strong links with politicians close to President Robert Mugabe.

    During the height of political instability in Zimbabwe, the organisation apparently organised hunting safaris on farms and land invaded by Zanu-PF's "war veterans".

    Shock

    About 100 vehicles from the police and the department of nature conservation raided game farms in the Musina area on Tuesday. A police helicopter and aircraft were also used.

    Several people, including professional hunters, were questioned.

    There have been no further arrests.

    National police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said on Monday the nine suspects are allegedly involved in killing rhinos, sawing off their horns and removing the carcasses.

    These nine suspects will appear in court in Musina on Wednesday, the day declared International Rhino Day by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

    The South African Veterinary Association (Sava) expressed its shock over the arrest of Toet and Du Plessis.

    It distanced itself from any "colleagues" who might be involved in rhino poaching.

    Altogether 210 rhinos have been poached for their horns right across the country since January.


    Source: News24.com
  10. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    Julian Rademeyer and Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld
    Johannesburg - The owner of a safari business, his wife and a professional hunter are among the "masterminds" who have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

    Dawie Groenewald, 42, the wealthy driving force behind Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris in Polokwane, his wife, Sariette, 34, and Tielman Erasmus, a professional hunter, are behind bars.

    They were arrested on Monday along with Dr Karel Toet and Dr Manie du Plessis, two veterinarians from Modimolle, and Toet's wife, Marisa.

    Groenewald, a former police official, was suspended from the South African Professional Hunters Association four years ago, and Zimbabwean authorities put a stop to his hunting there.

    He was arrested in the US in April this year in connection with a leopard trophy which was illegally hunted in South Africa and exported to the US. He pled guilty and was sentenced to pay a fine of $30 000 (R228 000).

    He spent eight days in prison there, over two months under house arrest and also had to pay $7 500 (R57 000) in damages to the American hunter.

    He denied in an interview with Media24's investigative team that he was involved in rhino poaching and has been forbidden from entering Zimbabwe.
  11. chad

    chad AH Member

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    Good news for the SA rhinos

    Found this in my local paper, but may be old news. Good news travels much slower than bad.

    South African police arrest 11 suspected rhino poachers

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South African police say they've arrested 11 suspected members of a major rhino poaching ring.

    Police spokesman Vish Naidoo says the suspects include two veterinarians and a game farmer. He says 10 were arrested earlier this week and one was arrested Wednesday.

    Naidoo says the suspects are part of a ring linked to many rhino poaching incidents in South Africa.

    Wednesday's arrest coincides with World Rhino Day.

    Conservationists have declared a campaign to raise funds to protect the animals against the illegal trade of rhino horns. The horns are used for medicinal purposes in parts of China.

    The African rhino and its endangered cousin, the black rhino, are targets of the illegal trade.


    Source: 10wistv.com
  12. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Here are the names of all who were arrested: Dawie and Sariette Groenewald, veterinarian Karel Toet and his wife Mariza, veterinarian Manie du Plessis, professional hunter Tielman Roos Erasmus, Dewald Gouws, Nardus Rossouw, Leon van der Merwe, and Jacobus Martinus Pronk, and Paul Matomela.
  13. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Poachers should be tied behind a rhino and the rhino let loose!
  14. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    The irony is that , these damn poachers get the bail & then run scott free, there is one law to arrest these ominous humans & there are 10 laws that set them free. Should there not a law to put them behind bars for life or hang em up for such heinous crimes ?????? Sad damn sad ..............

    Monish
  15. grumpy

    grumpy New Member

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    Do to the poachers what they do to the Rhinos, DE-HORN THEM!!!!!!!

    The state must take everything they own, sell it and give the money to the Rhino foundation. Let them become worse than beggers. When you see them you kick them, treat them worse than S--t!!!!!!!!!
  16. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    As mentioned above, this PH and outfitter was also recently arrested for illegally tagged leopard skins. His name is associated with Out of Africa Safaris. This would appear to be a trend.
  17. Merry B

    Merry B AH Member

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    There a a few things that really bother me about these criminals, besides the incredibly cruel actions they took. First off, they are professionals that are suppossed to be helping, not hurting. Another thing, I know that I have seen documents with some of those names come thru here, so I feel horrible that we have worked with them at any time. I truly hope they are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
  18. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Arrested Poaching Gang Linked to Minister Kembo Mohadi

    Arrested Poaching Gang Linked to Minister Kembo Mohadi

    Dawie Groenewald, owner of the notorious Out of Africa Adventure Safaris company and his wife, Sariette, were arrested on Monday in South Africa, for allegedly being the masterminds behind an illegal rhino poaching gang. Nine other people, including veterinarians and hunters, were also arrested for poaching.

    The gang appeared before a magistrate in South Africa on Wednesday, which is ironically also the day declared International Rhino Day by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The case was postponed until April 11th, 2011, after Groenewald reportedly posted bail of about one million rand, with the others paying less.

    Out of Africa has been linked to top officials in Mugabe's party, particularly the Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi. The company became notorious during the height of the farm invasions when they arranged hunting safaris on farms stolen by ZANU PF officials. Out of Africa was subsequently banned from entering the country in September 2004 by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

    Sources told us that Minister Mohadi was responsible for facilitating the release of South African poachers when they were arrested in Zimbabwe.

    But this time Groenewald and his partners have been arrested by South African authorities. Their ability to pay so much money in bail and the postponement till next year only raises further questions as to the extent of their connections to government officials in both countries.

    Our sources, who chose to remain anonymous, told us that Mohadi interfered in a case last year that involved a well known South African poacher named Johan Roos. They said Roos, who lives in Musina, was captured inside Zimbabwe after a shoot out in the Bubye River Conservancy, where one guard was killed and another seriously injured. Roos was detained in the police cells in Beitbridge for two nights, but was suddenly released under unclear circumstances.

    Raoul du Toit, director of the Lowveld Rhino Trust a partnership of key stakeholders, confirmed that Roos had indeed been arrested in August 2009. He explained that Roos was named in numerous other poaching cases as the guy who supplied weaponry, firearms and ammunition, and that it was through him that poachers had traded their rhino horns.

    As to why Roos was released du Toit responded: "He was caught and released on grounds that can only be called dubious. But it's like so many of these other cases. That syndicate has clearly infiltrated the officials responsible for holding him. It should come as no surprise that this was at Beitbridge, which to be absolutely honest is as a cesspool of corruption."

    Beitbridge falls under Minister Mohadi's jurisdiction as a member of parliament.


    Source: AllAfrica.com
  19. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris denied entrance SCI Conventions

    Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris denied entrance SCI Conventions

    The arrest of Dawie Groenewald in the USA in January 2010 and the subsequent conviction in a U.S. court could have led to an internal SCI Ethics Investigation and subsequent expulsion from SCI. Both brothers resigned from SCI before SCI could investigate their conduct. Additionally, Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris has officially been denied entrance at all future Safari Club International Conventions in the USA.


    Source: SCI
  20. Oliver.Wettstein

    Oliver.Wettstein AH Senior Member

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    Most of the arrested persons have already been let out of bail, the smallest amount being 5000 rand. This is ridiculous because they make so much from rhino horn that they can pay the bail easily so they will keep doing it, and even if they get arrested 50 times they still make a profit from selling rhino horns. They should all be shot on the spot not even arrested, end of the story.

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