Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Rhino Poaching In Europe A Surprise


This month’s shocking incident of a rhino poached at Parc zoologique de Thoiry in France is the first of its kind on European soil.

In the early hours of Tuesday 7 March, keepers found the carcass of Vince, a four-year-old white rhinoceros, with its horn removed with a chain saw.

This poaching incident is truly shocking, and it is very sobering to think that armed criminals are now willing to break into Europeans zoos to kill our rhinos.

It highlights how the criminal networks running the illegal wildlife trade operate across borders, and how all of us are affected by the illicit rhino horn trade.

As atrocious as the poaching of a rhino in a European zoo is, rhinos face the biggest dangers in the wild across Africa and Asia.

The extensive poaching crisis continues to threaten the survival of the species, with three rhino killed every day on average in South Africa alone.

At Save the Rhino International, we work hard to equip our conservation partners on the ground with what they need to combat poaching.

Thanks to your amazing support and generous donations, you have helped provide rangers with the much needed equipment, skills and training, and together help all five rhino species thrive in the wild for future generations.

In the wake of the poaching incident in France, many zoos have been taking measures to increase their security and ensure the safety of both the staff and animals.

As Susie Offord-Woolley, Managing Director at Save the Rhino highlights, the zoos are now facing increased pressure to both ensure the welfare of its animals and provide the essential security. Read about what actions have been taken by several European zoos to protect their rhinos.

Overwhelmed by the negative news, such as the tragic poaching incident in the French Zoo, it is good to remind ourselves of the bigger picture.

The good news is that the last rhino population census from 2015 showed that global rhino numbers were still growing and not declining.

The African Rhino Specialist Group published figures at the end of 2015, concluding there were 30,000 rhinos living in the wild across Africa and Asia.

However, this year could be the tipping point, when the number of poached rhinos tips the overall balance of rhinos into decline.

Therefore, it is important to stay vigilant – your continued support will help to ensure the programmes protecting rhinos have the resources they need to keep these figures on the rise.

Demand for rhino horn in countries such as Vietnam is one of the key drivers behind the extensive poaching crisis.

The new documentary by Jake Dudman and Paul Blackthorne uncovers Vietnam's illicit rhino horn trade, its devastating impact on our shared natural heritage, and – most importantly – what we can do about it. As Paul advocates, “rhino horn has become a status symbol – it’s fashionable. But as a new trend, it’s something we can change before it’s too late.”

Have you ever read that rhino horn is commonly used as an aphrodisiac in Asia, or as a cancer cure in traditional medicine? And did you think that dying rhino horn pink can deter poachers? In the post truth age of alternative facts, we hear lots of unsubstantiated rhino rumours and frequently spot dubious stories circulating the net.

Save the Rhino's Susie reflects on why now, more than ever, we need to stay positive. In a round up of 2016, she looks back at a year of turbulent politics, exciting opportunities and key conservation successes.

Susie shares achievements that would not be possible without your fantastic support - such as providing rangers with the much needed equipment, and delivering effective demand reduction campaigns in countries like Vietnam.

On Sunday the 23rd of April 60 rhino heroes will be taking part in the 2017 London Marathon to raise vital funds for Save the Rhino.

Including 15 particularly brave Rhino Runners, who will be donning our iconic rhino costumes to complete the infamous 26.2 mile route through the streets of London, finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.