2011 wrap up for Century 21 Wildlife Properties
Century21 Wildlife Properties
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2011 is coming to a close and it’s been a bumpy year with a few disappointments along the way. The whole country watched as the Springboks were knocked out of the world cup 11-9 to Australia. South Africa had 60% of the possession band 80% of the territory. Google search Bryce Lawrence, and you will find a plethora of articles, news paper reports and personal opinion about his involvement in the quarter final match. Is this a case of South Africans looking for a scapegoat, or perhaps more a sign of “where there’s smoke there’s fire”?
This leads me onto the other big disappointment for the year. Rhino Poaching. This issue has made some South Africans angry but unfortunately not to the same levels of the Rugby Cup. While the Politician Fat Cats flew across to New Zealand to hold up the South African flag, we don’t see them throwing there weight behind the Rhino Poaching issue. Rhino’s are a part of South Africa's heritage and have been in South Africa far longer that the game of rugby has been around.
We all get hot under the collar about loosing in a world cup and some bad refereeing. But more games will come around and we will have opportunities in the future. Sporting events like this are a renewable resource and filling a rugby stadium happens on a regular basis. Rhino remain under threat and appear to be less renewable at this point. The worlds population of remaining rhinos would only fill a rugby stadium.
While John Smit and Victor Matfield announced their retirement from International Rugby, three species of Rhino became extinct this year. They were the Western Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes), formerly found in Cameroon and other West African countries, the Northern white rhino (Ceratoherium simum cottoni) is now assumed extinct in the wild, and Vietnam has now lost all of its Javan rhinos to poaching.
Hoedspruit has had numerous workshops and meetings to discuss how to best to tackle the poaching problem. One of the main strategies has been to de-horn all the Hoedspruit rhinos. While is undesirable for tourism (photographic Safaris) and negative for the social behavior to the rhino, it least changes the economics of the situation and that means that they are less likely to be shot and more likely to survive into the future. Dead rhinos do nothing for future sustainability or for a gene pool. Drastic times call for drastic measures.
And what about poisoning the horns you ask? On ethical grounds it cannot be endorsed, knowing that people will die, but certainly that is one way for denting the demand side of this multibillion rand supply chain. The cost of a rhino at auction is about R250,000 and the total supply chain value for a horn is estimated at R7 million per set of Rhino horns. The poachers can make as much as R100,000 for the slaughter of one of these animals which is more than these individuals can generally make in a year. For them it’s an incentive worth the risk. Well the war will continue and we await for what 2012 has to offer in terms of finding a solution.
However one thing can be said. It costs money to fight rhino poaching, since the poachers use a form of guerrilla warfare or terrorism. You only need a few small isolated pockets of individuals that are extremely difficult to find and locate. They can move around and can strike at any location at any time.
Poisoning a horn or two would be tantamount to terrorism but also be as effective to installing fear in those using it.
Hopefully the whole of South Africa can get behind rhino anti poaching. The income towards rhino anti poaching is about 1% of what SA Rugby earns in a year. Yet the asset value of SA Rhinos exceeds the SA Rugby Board by more than 10 times. It’s like feeding Bakkies Botha on one celery stick per day and expecting him to stay fit and strong.
This disproportionate allocation of funding needs to be addressed if we are to make a real difference against rhino poaching and South Africans need to re-asses what is important with regards to our heritage. Perhaps the time is right to drop the light footed Springbok as a symbol of SA Rugby for the physical strength and beauty of the rhino. After all we all love to shout ‘Beeeeast’ when Tendaai Mtawarira gets the ball.
Black Rhino Relocated to the Hoedspruit Region
With saving and preserving Rhino top the mind at the moment, it has been remarkable to see the lengths that hard working conservationist will go to, to achieve this. Several Black Rhino have recently been relocated to the Hoedspruit area by helicopter and truck. Rhino needs to be darted and moved via helicopter out of thick bush to an area where large trucks could be driven. Capturing rhino and relocating them is no easy feat.
The rhinos are under 24 hour guard and surveillance. The relocation is intended to create a healthy natural population within this Greater Kruger Area. The relocation has been a great success for the dedicated conservationists in the area. Earlier in the year several poachers have been shot and captured during regular anti poaching patrols and stake outs. The Hoedspruit community has all been active in supporting this initiative over the last year, in spite of increased poaching across the country. Through continued efforts of conservationists, reserve staff and land owners, it is believed that Rhino numbers will remain stable within this Lowveld Biosphere.
Hoedspruit news in general
1.The first set of Grade 12 learners left Southern Cross Schools College. The school now offers a full range of schooling from Grade 000 through to Grade 12. For information on this world renowned school go to.
Southern Cross Schools
2.The wild dogs are still living on Raptors View and seem to be feeding on their own quite successfully and without any danger to home owners. They have been living on the Wildlife Estate for over a year now and despite letting them out into the neighboring conservancy which is 15,000ha they seem to like it here and returned.
Help protect the rhino by purchasing in a conservation area. Your presence in terms of an extra set of ears and eyes, as well as monthly levies towards running a reserve will go a long way towards protecting this endangered species. Stands available from R215,000
For more details visit our website at www.century21wildlife.co.za.
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