Botswana battles for Rhinos

May 15 , 2015 Poaching continues to be a major problem across much of Southern Africa, and many nations are putting policies and measures in place to fight the decimation of many endangered and poacher attractive species. Botswana, one of the countries affected is recording good success in its fight against poachers, and has recorded a sixfold increase in its rhino population over the last decade.

The Sunday Times SA shares a Bloomberg report and informs us that some of the strategies the nation employed included moving the animals to sanctuaries and deploying the army to protect them from poachers.

A report published in capital Gaborone by the country’s statistics agency, announced that Botswana now has 153 rhinos, as opposed to only 26 10 years ago.

The agency report is quoted as saying “The increase in white rhino population is attributable to the government’s management efforts, which include translocation to secure sanctuaries, and engaging the Botswana Defence Force in combating the escalating poaching incidences,”

The report refers only to white rhinos, as black rhinos were declared extinct in Botswana in 1992. For the white rhinos though, it is good news, as the last one reported killed was  2 years ago in 2013.

Map Ives, Botswana’s national rhino coordinator is quoted as saying “We have advanced intelligence reserves at work and if any threat comes here, it is very dangerous for them. Everything is getting stronger and we are putting more defenses in place. We have no doubt that the syndicates are highly organized, and we are too.”

Mr Ives added “Our rhinos are quite safe and we are bringing the numbers back to where they once were historically,”

Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Minister Tshekedi Khama had previously announced that the government was training a Rhino Squad of specialized law enforcement officers.

Let’s hope that this good news will be replicated in all the other countries fighting poaching.

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