Rhino blood runs red under light of supermoon
Poachers took advantage of Sunday's supermoon to slaughter six rhinos in one of KwaZulu-Natal's premier game reserves. Officials at Hluhluwe Game Reserve discovered the carcasses yesterday, moving the province's figures up to 86 rhinos poached so far this year. Ninety-nine rhinos were poached last year.The Hawks, SAPS and Ezemvelo wildlife officials closed off roads at the park and gathered evidence from three separate crime scenes.According to Ezemvelo spokesman Musa Mntambo, at least six rhino were killed in two separate locations in the park.The carcass of a white rhino was discovered near a corridor road on Saturday.Rangers on patrol found two carcasses shortly after daybreak in the northern section of the park. Both had had their horns removed.By midmorning a second patrol discovered a further four carcasses with the horns removed near a busy tourist route.A wounded adult rhino with its front horn hacked off was found wandering alive nearby. Veterinarians expected it to make a full recovery.Acting CEO for Ezemvelo David Mabunda said: "It is saddening that this poaching would happen while we are celebrating our heritage."As much as we were shocked when we discovered these carcasses we cannot lose hope."We will increase our foot patrols and request that communities residing adjacent to our protected areas continue supplying information that can help us protect our rhino better."The issue of the latest poaching at Hluhluwe is in the hands of the police investigators and we have full confidence they will soon arrest the poachers."