Thursday, October 04, 2007

October 1, 2007




Rhino killed by train

The dead rhino

Ronelle Ramsamy

AN adult white rhinoceros was killed after being knocked over by a train in the Pongola Nature Reserve on Thursday afternoon.
The male rhino suffered two broken back legs and was in severe pain when discovered by Reserve staff members early on Friday morning. According to Conservation Co-ordinator for Northern Zululand - Rob Blok, the Spoornet Control Office had informed the Pongola Nature Reserve of the incident at approximately 5.30pm on Thursday.
'Our staff immediately went to investigate and combed the area. However, poor visibility in the dark forced us to abandon the search.
'The search resumed on Friday morning and the animal was found in a lot of pain,' said Blok.
Unfortunately, the injured rhino had to be put down.
With the railway line cutting through the reserve, as well as the busy main road leading to the Golela border post, many animal losses have been recorded over the years.
Blok told the Zululand Observer that they were currently in discussion with Spoornet regarding the management of the unfenced railway line.
'It is a collective responsibility as there are multiple users in the area. We fully recognise that Spoornet has to use the line.
'Fencing would not be viable, as we would lose out on conservation. We do accept some losses, but this incident is unfortunate and we regret the loss of such an animal,' added Blok. Many smaller animals including kudus and zebras have often fallen victim to road and rail accidents. An elephant was reportedly killed two years ago in a similar incident.




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