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Rise in rhino poaching a cause for concern

Innocent Tshukudu
FILE PIC: Rhino poaching a cause for concern

Botswana continues to suffer an escalating assault on its rhino population following the poaching of 13 more of these endangered species since October.

The alarming spike is a sharp rise from the nine rhinos that had been killed between 1 April and 4 October 2019.

Despite government’s attempts to put in place interventions in the fight against poaching of rhinoceros, especially in the Okavango Delta, marauding poachers have gone on the rampage lately bringing to 31 the number of rhinos killed since October 2018.

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According to a statement released by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, 23 of the poached animals are white rhinoceros while 8 are black rhinoceros.

The statement further says Government has considerably stepped up efforts to address the poaching situation with
interventions leading to recovery of some horns and hunting weapons. “During engagement
with the poachers seven casualties occurred amongst poachers who were resisting arrest. The
Government will continue to do all it can to ensure the protection of this iconic species, which
was reintroduced twice in Botswana.”

In view of the spiralling problem, government has appealed to all stakeholders including the communities and private sector to support the operations to protect this iconic species. “We further call upon members of the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities in and around the Okavango Delta to the nearest security agents,” the Ministry has further appealed in the statement.

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