24 August 2017
   
Grace evictees homes raided, destroyed
DisGrace: Linda et al say sorry to SA
ZPF youths shocked whites still own farms
Govt lying, GMO harmless: UZ prof
ZRP Byo better than Harare cops: MDC-T
Traffic cops gang up to gouge man’s eye
Cops quiz journo over UK-based party leader
Sadc must ensure free 2018 polls, MDC-T
MORE NEWS
Maize deliveries exceed 500k tonnes
Life assurance Q1 premium income down 6pct
MORE BUSINESS
Big gig as Byo’s Skyz Metro FM turns one
UK: Eats, jive and joy at 2017 Zimfest
MORE SHOWBIZ
Kwese TV brings African boxers to Hre
Highlanders bite the dust as Caps win
MORE SPORTS
DisGrace: When not even Charamba can defend
Amai Mugabe Vs Far-Right Idealism
MORE OPINION
 
Zim’s silly season in politics continues
Unpacking the monster called Zanu PF
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Poachers targeting rhino calves
23/02/2015 00:00:00
by Times Live
 
 
RELATED STORIES

TWO rhino calves were among the five black rhino killed by poachers in the south of the wildlife conservation region Save Valley Conservancy last year, Bryce Clemence of Anti-Poaching and Tracking Specialists (ATS) told Sapa.

The two calves were siblings. One was around nine months old, the other about three years old, Clemence said.

Both were males, the offspring of a female rhino known to locals as "Diana".

"[The poachers] shot her calf... Diana ran off with the other calf."

"They found her with the little one, opened fire on both, and killed the little one," he said.

The poachers then cut the horn off the calf.

"His horn was about 40 grams, there was hardly anything," Clemence said.

The fact that the poachers took it showed just how much it was worth in the illegal international rhino horn market.

Rangers found where the calves had been killed and tracked the wounded mother. A veterinarian was brought in to treat Diana's wounds.

"She made quite a quick recovery," said Clemence.

But then her condition began to deteriorate.

Seven months after the February attack that killed her babies, Diana too died. It was later found that she died of a bone marrow infection in her leg.

This was traced to one of the bullets lodged in her leg.

"She was a beautiful rhino," Clemence said.

Clemence, his wife Lara, and his team of trained rangers have been operating in the private Save Valley Conservancy since April 2012.

While losses like that of Diana and her babies were real setbacks, Clemence said there was cause for hope.

The number of rhino losses had declined. In the four months before Clemence began working in the Save Valley, there were 14 rhino losses.

"At one point 10 rhino were lost in 10 weeks," he said.

He and his men's job involved a considerable amount of danger as they tracked and tried to apprehend armed poachers.

"Our value is in our men," he said. "We train them to very high standards."

"We are driven by the same drive -- we don't want to see the rhino extinct."

There are fewer than 500 black rhino left in Zimbabwe.

Many of the black and white rhino left are guarded round the clock in intensive protection zones, such as in the Kyle Recreational Park in southern Zimbabwe and the Matobo National Park near Bulawayo.



Advertisement

Last year, Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the number of rhino killed by poachers across Zimbabwe was on the decline. It was down from 52 in 2010 to 16 in 2013.

"We are very optimistic," said Clemence. "This is a complete life dedication."


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark

 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker