The Democratic Alliance has warned the Eastern Cape government that huge rhino losses could be expected in state reserves if the province’s environmental compliance and enforcement unit – the Green Scorpions – is not jacked up.
The party was commenting on the killing of four rhino at the Lalibela Private Game Reserve near Grahamstown. It says so far this year, all the rhino lost to poaching have died on private reserves where security is usually better.
The DA says it fears that poachers will soon move to state reserves guarded by the Green Scorpions, who are severely under equipped.
The rhino killings came barely a week after the world commemorated World Rhino Day. The latest killings, brings the total number of poached rhinos in the country to 401 since the beginning of the year.
Poachers entered Lalibela, probably in the early hours of the morning, and darted and tranquilized the four rhino. The rhino grouped together in a typically protective formation and collapsed under the effects of the tranquilizer.
Most likely, whilst still alive, they were all de-horned by the poachers using saws. Three of the four rhinos were dead when they were discovered.