A decade has passed since the latest poaching onslaught against the worlds iconic rhino

Wildlife Crime_┬ęPeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

A decade has passed since the latest terrible poaching onslaught began against the worlds iconic rhino and in that time period over 7250 animals have been lost.

In that same time period, while organized crime is decimating rhino populations to feed an unscrupulous greed in the East, the world has also stood up and fought back with the rangers in protected areas bearing the brunt of bloody battles with armed poaching gangs. Without the dedication of these rangers, the tally of death of the rhino would be far far higher and it would be doubtful if the species would have actually survived.

This incredible commitment and effort has brought a reduction in the numbers of rhino being poached over the last three years. This reduction in numbers of poached rhino is indeed probably because they are becoming harder to find, but there has also been consistent improvement in law enforcement effectiveness and this is preventing increasing numbers of poaching gangs getting the opportunity to poach. In the Kruger National Park the number of poaching incursions increased from 1702 in 2017 to 1873 so far this year, while rhino poaching incidents have been radically reduced.

With a decade having now passed, we are starting to see see a fatigue of battle with many funders and NGO's starting to loose interest in the rhino, with them beginning to focus their attention elsewhere. We cannot afford to let this happen and have to ensure that global awareness of the issue and support for our rhino is maintained and that the rangers are able to continue with their difficult task of protecting the rhino while long term solutions are found to stop the slaughter!