Animalia: Rhino Deaths Still too High

Good news, on the face of it.   The Environmental Affairs minister Edna Molewa announced this week that the number of rhino poached in SA fell last year to 1 175 from 1 215 in 2014.

However, if my maths is still as excellent as it was when I was at school, this drop of 40 rhino deaths is a fall of just 3%.  A fall, but a small one.

This is disappointing for two reasons:

Firstly, given all the poaching which took place prior to 2015, there are now fewer rhino wandering around, and so a fall in the actual number being killed by these repellent scum was only to be expected.

But my real concern is that it seems more and more resources are being poured into protecting rhino, with little extra return.   Prince Harry has added his welcome voice to the campaign, wines are being sold with a portion of the cash being given to rhino support, all sort of corporates and charities are boosting their efforts.  All for a 3% annual fall in numbers poached.

So it could be argued that instead of winning the fight against rhino poaching, thanks to greater efforts and more resources, we are just treading water.  Or slowly drowning.   They are still dying in their thousands each year.

Unless there can be a real slowdown in poaching, here and in our neighbouring countries, the future for the rhino is bleak.

Sorry, Edna, you must try much harder!


Animalia is a sister initiative to ZA Confidential.  It seeks to promote a virtual kingdom where animals have human rights.

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