Saturday, 23 January 2010

South Africa tracks down rhino poachers

According to International News, poachers in South Africa have killed one hundred and twenty-two rhinos rhinos since the start of 2009.

News of growth in rhino poaching has been prominent over the last year, as the economic crisis means that people can no longer make money by licit means and so they turn to an extremely valuable resource. Although rhino horn is nothing like so expensive as cocaine ($3 per gram as against around $200 per gram), it is still in sufficient demand that people can gain more money from killing a rhino than they can from years of work at other jobs available in Africa. This problem is made worse because many poachers can very easily cross the borders from impoverished Zimbabwe and Mozambique to poach rhinos in world-famous Kruger National Park.

Authorities in South Africa indeed say that rhino poachers are indeed part of very large groups who are involved in a great variety of crime activities from prostitution to drug smuggling to even the illegal trafficking of people. This makes solving it very hard, but hopefully we will see a repeat of the recent arrests in Kenya whereby at least a dozen poachers have been killed.

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