Thursday, September 20, 2007

Black Rhino horns stolen


Black Rhino horns stolen

September 17, 2007;

MEDIA RELEASE No: 2007 - 10  

For immediate release
At about 06.00 on 4 September 2007 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff patrolling in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in the Ndondweni area of the Masinda section to the south of the R618 "Corridor Road" between Mtubatuba and Hlabisa, discovered the remains of an adult black rhino with both horns missing.
The rangers immediately alerted the Conservation Manager of Imfolozi who mobilised an investigation group which included the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Veterinarian.
In accordance with the established procedure for such incidents, the area was cordoned off and a thorough examination of the carcase and location conducted.
This included a post mortem examination to try to determine the cause of death.
The Veterinarian Dr Dave Cooper, estimated that the animal had died about two to three days previously and as the carcase had been extensively scavenged by hyenas and other animals was unfortunately not able to determine a cause of death.
There was no sign of bullet wounds and it is presumed that the animal might have died of natural causes and the horns removed some time after death.
A thorough forensic examination of certain tissue removed from the carcase is being conducted by the SAPS.
Dr Cooper noted that one of the horns had been removed by chopping with a cane knife and the other removed by a fine saw.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff are working closely with the the SAPS Organised Crime Unit to trace the missing horns and would like to remind the public that possession of any rhino parts without a relevant permit is an offense carrying with it severe penalties.
EKZNW further appeals to any member of the public who might have information regarding the missing rhino horns to contact the staff of Imfolozi on 035 550 8481.
 AJG/ Media Release No: 2007 - 10 


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