NEWS of the poaching of eight rhinos on a farm near Kimberley has been met by a massive public outcry, while the DA yesterday called on the provincial Department of Environment and Nature Conservation to take swift and decisive action to ensure the survival of the critically endangered species.
“The DA is both devastated and angered by the discovery of eight slaughtered rhino on a farm outside of Kimberley last week and calls on the MEC for Environment and Nature Conservation, as well as the premier, to ensure that the safety of rhinos in the Northern Cape is prioritised by the provincial government,” said party spokesperson, Ismail Obaray, yesterday.
“We understand that this department receives the smallest cut of the budget but this cannot be at the expense of saving the rhino population from extinction.”
Obaray believes that the farm’s level of compliance with safety standards must be questioned, as must the department’s management of the translocation of rhinos to the Northern Cape and its subsequent monitoring of provincially placed rhino.
“We also question the functionality of the dehorning programme, as announced by this department, that was meant to have been implemented in a bid to further protect the rhinos.
“Given the increased rhino population in the Northern Cape, it has become critical that an anti-rhino poaching unit is urgently established in the Province and that the monitoring and enforcement unit of the department steps up its game. Otherwise, the relocation of the Kruger National Park rhinos will become a futile exercise.”
Meanwhile, members of the public shared similar sentiments on social media yesterday, calling for proactive action to combat poaching.
“To read news like this breaks my heart,” commented Marlene Wiese on the DFA’s Facebook page. “We work hard to raise money for the Northern Cape Rhino Fund to protect our rhinos. My heart goes out to the owners. I hope they catch these criminals.”
“If only they could be caught,” added Stroppie Vermeulen. “Corruption is the order of the day. Some of us do hard, honest work to earn what we have while those who don’t do a stitch of work, but are corrupt, seem to thrive.”
The police have requested any person with information regarding the incident to contact the investigating officer Detective Warrent Officer Martin Coetzee on 082 454 3540.