560 rhinos have been poached in South Africa so far this year. This is a devastating loss. One that is hard to fathom. In 2013, 1,004 rhinos were killed, a death toll so high that no one expected it. This year is set to break that record. In 2015, if the poaching continues this way, the rhino population will reach breaking point, where the number of deaths exceeds the number of births.
South Africa’s Kruger National Park is suggesting a radical plan to move rhinos out of the game reserve to prevent the needless deaths from ruthless poaching. South Africa wants to ‘spread the risk’ of rhino poaching by sending some rhinos to other game reserves. Kruger has become a target, a deadly one. Many poachers cross over from Mozambique and enter the 19,485 square kilometre game reserve. The managers of Kruger are used to moving rhinos around the country to other private game reserves.
A kilogram of rhino horn fetches $60,000 on the black market, exceeding that of gold at $40,600 per kilo. The Vietnamese and Chinese see the rhino horn as a status symbol and it supposedly has healing properties.
Five poachers were detained on 20th of July, 2014 in a game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. . The suspects were found with an unlicensed hunting rifle, ammunition, a silencer and an axe, and face charges including illegal hunting and attempted murder, according to the South African Press Association.
South Africa has proposed another idea, termed a last resort; the creation of regulated trade in rhino horn. Legalization would require the approval of CITES, the international body that monitors endangered species which will meet in South Africa in 2016.