Rhino poaching is currently at a crisis point. By the end of 2015, the number of African rhinos killed by poachers had increased for the sixth year in a row with at least 1,338 rhinos killed by poachers across Africa in 2015 with the vast majority of these poaching incidents occurring in South Africa. If this merciless slaughter continues rhino will be extinct by the year 2040.
The current poaching epidemic is attributed to the growing demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, mainly Vietnam and China. Vietnam has been identified as the largest user country of rhino horn. Although rhino horn has no scientific medical benefits, consumers are using it to treat a wide range of conditions, from cancer to hangovers, and due to its high value it is now also used as a status symbol by wealthy individuals. The high price fetched for the horn has attracted the involvement of ruthless criminal syndicates who use high-tech equipment to track down and kill the rhinos.
Karongwe is one of the few private game reserves in South Africa who preserves the white rhino. Reserves who choose to accommodate these magnificent creatures do so with great responsibility. Law states that an anti-poaching unit must be active within any area containing rhino, a necessity due to the incredibly high demand for their horn. The anti-poaching team on Karongwe never sleeps. Their patrols run 24 hours a day 7 days a week, as the risk of intruders is constant, surprisingly even during the day.
The addition of this new vehicle to their patrols enables the unit to send an extra set of eyes and ears out on the reserve every day. It is this presence that assists in deterring poachers from initially entering the reserve as well as detecting their presence earlier if they have already penetrated the fence.
Not only is this vehicle a fantastic asset to the anti-poaching unit, it also reiterates a positive relationship with reserve management and landowners alike. It is contributions such as these that prove our commitment to a shared goal, the conservation of this unique endangered species.
Thank you for making it possible for us to increase our mobility in Karongwe!