Botswana’s Rhinos Under Siege

White Rhino: File Photo.

BOTSWANA’s rhinoceros are under siege with reports showing that another rhino was killed in less than a week, the latest incident recorded on October 2, the Wildlife Department confirmed.

The last poaching incident was on September 27.

This poaching incident brings the number of rhinoceros poached this financial year alone from April 2019 to date 9, an unprecedented number.

The increased poaching of rhinos is deeply worrying in a country that has over the last few years received rhinos in an effort to safe guard and revive rhino populations.

“Botswana does not have many wild rhinos, our population is relatively small.” said Dr. Mmadi Reuben, Department of Wildlife and National Parks Rhino Coordinator in Botswana.

“We have been losing about a rhino a month to poaching, losing two in one week is unacceptable. If the poaching continues at this rate there will be no rhinos in Botswana in a year or two, especially the black rhino a ‘critically endangered species’.”

Botswana has a strict and strong anti-poaching policy, which the Government has committed immense resources.

The anti-poaching forces have placed the protection of rhinos and location of these poaching gangs as their highest priority, with two poachers having lost their lives during operations recently. 

Rhino poaching has been on the increase in the region with South Africa possibly being the worst hit. Namibia also recently recorded poaching of rhinos as well. Rhino poachers it seems have now turned their attention to Botswana. 

“The Government of Botswana will continue to improve efforts, and is committed to mobilizing more resources to combat and eradicate this scourge. The public and affected (host and nearby) communities in particular are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the nearest Department of Wildlife or Botswana Police office,” Alice Mmolawa the permanent secretary in the Wildlife ministry said.