A surge in the South African illegal wildlife market
Although I’ve said in the past that I would never choose to live in South Africa again, I do think back on my memories there with fondness. I will always have a soft spot for South Africa. Despite the countries somewhat turbulent social, political and economic past (to put it lightly) there are still so many things I love about South Africa. The scenery and landscapes found across the country are completely breath taking. The wildlife largely contributes to the vibrant environment and the fact that there are so many endangered species in South Africa, and Africa as a whole, is extremely saddening to me. It’s a country full of natural beauty, all the problems there come from the people. Unfortunately, that opinion was cemented this week with a breaking news story.
The illegal wildlife market in South Africa has always been a terrible problem. One that the government and other organisations are continuously trying to tackle. Although anti-poaching efforts have received an increased amount of funding over the last few years this sort of crime as risen rapidly. And with South Africa being home to the majority of the world’s rhinos this is especially worrying.
Black rhinos living outside of conservation areas are basically extinct now. But even those living within the confines of national parks are critically endangered. This week over 40 rhino horns were stolen from a provincial park, investigations aren’t ruling out that it may have been an inside job.
The dehorning of a rhino is an incredibly traumatic and can have an effect on the entire body of the animal. With poachers taking little care when hacking off a horn rhinos can often bleed to death or it is very common for them to experience overheating, cardiac distress, respiratory depression, increased blood pressure and miscarriages in pregnant females. As well the physical effects rhinos use their horns for defence, to protect their eyes and to assert status within their crash.