Rhino poaching syndicates targeting poor communities

Rhino poaching syndicates targeting poor communities

Environmental officials have cautioned communities living around the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal to be aware of exploitation. 


Speaking at the World Rhino Day event in St. Lucia, Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson said poaching syndicates can take advantage of vulnerable people by offering them large amounts of money to kill and dehorn rhino. 

Thomson says enlisting the support of local communities and educating them about conservation is one of the key methods to combat the scourge of rhino poaching.

ISimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis agrees.

"The challenge is when there's poverty, there are always people willing to take a chance and clearly the money is not made by the poacher. The money is made by the end-user and the poacher really gets paid chicken feed.

"If you're somebody without a job, if you're somebody who has to send your kids to school, any money is better than no money. So, the value in the horn is not made by the poacher. It's made by the middlemen and the end-users," he said. 

(File photo)

Show's Stories