Activists call on Africa to fight poaching
Anti-rhino poaching activists called yesterday for Africa to embrace the spirit that gripped the nation during the 2010 soccer World Cup to fight poaching.
The Rhino March, an environmental protection movement, took to the streets of Durban yesterday as foreign and local delegates met at the International Wildlife Management Congress.
Even though only a few demonstrators took part in the march, led by the Waterbury Trust and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, a call was made for Africa to take a stand against poaching.
"Rhino poaching has reached high levels and it's no longer funny. If we don't do anything now, we should start apologising to the next generation," said Waterbury Trust director Moses Mkhabela.
More than 180 rhinos were poached in the first four months of this year . Of these, 111 were poached in the Kruger National Park, 25 in Limpopo, 18 in KwaZulu-Natal and 17 in North West.
The rest were poached elsewhere in the country.
Police have arrested 113 suspected poachers so far this year.
Last year, 448 rhinos were killed and 232 poachers arrested.
Mkhabela said it was important to create awareness of the animals' plight because that was one of the most effective ways to combat rhino poaching.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife CEO Bandile Mkhize said: "If we don't do anything there will be no more rhinos and if we fail to act now, we would have failed future generations. There's a big war out there and we must fight it together."
He said he hoped the congress would bring about new methods to assist in the fight against rhino poaching.