Iconic rhino, calves savagely poached in iSimangaliso

THE local conservation fraternity, as well as regular visitors to the Eastern Shores section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, are in mourning after the recent butchering of an iconic rhino cow and her two offspring.

The carcasses of the white rhino cow and her two sub-adult calves were found by an early morning Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife patrol on Thursday in the Nkazama section of Eastern Shores, just north of Catalina Bay.

A post mortem revealed the rhino to have been shot the previous evening with a heavy calibre hunting rifle and the horns of all three forcibly removed. Investigations are underway.

This is the first poaching to have occurred in this area of the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia since the rhinos’ introduction some 10 years ago.

In the height of the 2002-2009 drought, 23 rhino were successfully ‘rescued’ and relocated onto the Eastern Shores where they recovered back to good health.

‘With her extremely long horn this rhino cow and her two calves were a favourite of park staff, tour guides and local visitors.

I vividly recollect her coming out of the capture crate when she was released some 10 years ago because of her long horn and skeletal like condition.

It is emotionally wrenching to have witnessed the murder and butchering of such a magnificent rhino who fought back and survived the second worst drought in the last century, only to be killed in this manner alongside her calves,’  said iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis.

ALSO READ: Rhino family butchered


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