First Rhino Poached in Swaziland in 20 years... Tragedy

Our contact in Swaziland, Elaine Franklin just sent me this breaking news. On June 4th the first rhino was poached in Swaziland in almost 20 years. Devastating and sad, to say the least. It has been in the local Swaziland papers ever since the incident. Apparently this didn’t make international news and so she sent the news to us.

Unfortunately, the rhino threat was reported in April by the rhino conservation society. Here they stated that “seven people were reportedly arrested … for illegally hunting animals in the three protected areas of Swaziland’s Big Game Parks (BGP).” Unfortunately this threat resulted in the death of one rhino this June.

Swaziland only has a very small rhino population; they have 89 white and 18 black rhinos, as reported by TRAFFIC in 2009.  Rhinos are under attack because their horns are thought to have medicinal value in the far east. Unfortunately this is a myth that is killing the rhino.

Luckily suspects have been apprehended and have had their preliminary court hearing. Franklin hopes this will let the international organized crime ring behind them know that they can’t get away with poaching in her home country.

Meanwhile, rhino poaching in South Africa has been escalating and 333 rhinos were poached in 2010 alone. Everyone should be aware that anything made from rhino horns should not be purchased.

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Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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