The Last Remaining Rhinos In Mozambique Have Been Wiped Out By Poachers
In 2002 a treaty between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe tore down the fences between their national parks and created what was intended to be "The World's Greatest Animal Kingdom" now known as Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Unfortunately, the global rhino poaching crisis has put this project in jeopardy.
At the time of the treaty there were an estimated 300 rhinos on the Mozambican side of the park. In sad news, The Telegraph is reporting that the final 15 have just been wiped out for their horns by poachers, which means there are no more left in the entire country. What makes matters worse is that it is believed that the game rangers in the area actually helped the poachers track the rhinos instead of protecting them.
Much evidence suggests that the massive ammount of rhinos being killed in South Africa in the Kruger National Park (already 180 country wide this year) are the result of poachers coming in from Mozambique. Since there are no longer fences between the areas the poachers can return to the Mozabique side and then smuggle the horns out through there, where penalties are not nearly as severe. Dr Jo Shaw from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature believes this is the case.
"Rhinos being killed in Kruger are mostly by Mozambican poachers who then move the horns out through their airports and seaports," said Shaw. "With huge governance and corruption issues in Mozambique, it's a huge challenge."
With the ever increasing demand for rhino horn in Asia where it is wrongly believed that the horns have medicinal properties, the crisis has reached epic proportions. These latest developments may make South Africa reconsider their treaty and possibly re-construct the fences that once separated the 2 regions. The fact that the rangers themselves are believed to have been involved in these latest killings is only making matters worse.
"They will stop at nothing to get to their quarry. It is tragic beyond tears that we learn game rangers have now become the enemy in the fight to protect rhino from being poached for their horns." - Kelvin Alie from the International Fund for Animal Welfare
Is there anything you can do? Yes. You can start by learning more about the WWF initiative to stop illegal wildlife trade HERE . You can also use the power of social media by taking snapshots of the animals they are trying to protect and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter HERE