Vol 5 - Feb-08 Rhino poaching has been receiving a fair amount of publicity of late.

The reasons may be that there is more reporting relating to the matter or of are that the rhino incidences poaching highly

increasing. and

The media informed us of a organised effective syndicate credited with a large number of rhino deaths throughout the country, which were brought to book. The shock may have brothers reckless been that the with right poachers were European

operating abandon

under the noses of the authorities. The majority of the reported incidences are still within the large nature reserves, but the private game farmer was not let of the hook entirely. The the small a problem in these instances, without loss, is downsizing that can the severity of even a single enterprise lose

substantial percentage of his rhino population in one go. In recent times there was an instance in the Hoedspruit vicinity where a rhino cow and her calf were almost claimed victim to poaching, but were saved as result of the quick intervention of local Vet Dr. Peter Rogers; Game Ranch Management’s Gideon Van Rensburg and Protrack’s own Troy Wakeford. There appeared to be a snare around the Rhino’s horn on a local game farm. The team then tracked and photographed the animal as to ascertain its location and the severity. The due authority was

obtained and the cow was then darted and a cable snare was removed. Troy recalls that he had his hands from full keeping to the his aid. shocked and confused calf coming incapacitated of how mother’s

This is but another example indiscriminating

snares are as no poacher who set that snare would dream of catching a fully grown rhino. The wounds caused have started to get infected and rot as maggots were already present. In the Hoedspruit area in two separate incidents weapons were stolen in lodge break ins From the date of the break in’s two attempted hijackings and an attempted murder ensued on the Orpen road, before one of the suspects was wounded in a shootout in the Welverdiend trust. Further information apprehension two weapons. A hunting rifle recovered was modified by sawing off the barrel . Nearer Kaapse to Nelspruit a in a beautiful scenic site called Hoop, natural attraction is the presence of nearly 200 wild horses which live in the area. This is a d rawing card to visitors from all parts of the country and adds to its natural appeal of the to make it more manageable presumably. lead of to the more

suspects and the recovery of

tourist haven. In a barbaric act on three occasions stallions were mutilated in senseless acts, which appear to be for no other reason than the removal of the genitals for the purposes of muthi harvesting.

A grizzly discover in the Gravelotte area was the remains of several poached carcasses and evidence of prolonged poaching activity on a game farm. The of poached carcasses

which most were very old or only remains of a carcass included a waterbuck, 2 kudu, an impala, 5-6 zebra, 3 wildebeest and an eland. There were in excess of 45 snares removed and evidence in t he bush kitchen that the base has been used for an extended period of time. Spoor was found on a game path near the site and cooking utensils, blankets and clothing was left behind. The losses suffered financially are great and the prospects seem that the poaching incidents were set to continue well into the future. In the Hazyview area a joint venture by the White River Dog Unit and Protrack personnel Dagga to the street value of approximately R 80,000.00 was removed from various dwellings. The narcotic plants were then taken to the Hazyview Police Station to be destroyed. Another crime solving breakthrough was in the recovery of two brush cutters and bicycles on the Sabie / Hazyview roads. These items have been returned to their rightful owners. An unsolved mystery is the theft of roses from one of the guesthouses in the Hazyview area.

In an attempt to regulate the access of workers and visitors a system has been initiated to attempt to curb crime and the feeling of vulnerability by the landowners and labourers alike for a group of farmers near Hazyview. This initiative has been applied with great success in the Hoedspruit area bearing fruit. A camera recording system has been implemented in Hoedspruit to compliment the use of guards. This is useful in that it records movements and events to collaborate the sequences of events with pictures bearing a date and time stamp and it was found that the guards actually feel a sense of pride in their mannerisms when they know their actions are recorded. Eugene Franken is Protrack’s new Reaction officer based in the Hazyview, Whiteriver areas. Tinus Steyn has been in Hoedspruit area for the last seven years, previously from Nelspruit, brings his experience in crop and fruit farming and knowledge of the area and its people to Protrack anti Poaching as the new area manager for the Western Hoedspruit Area. and already in its fledgling stages is already

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