Durban - A R100 000 reward has been offered by Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife for the capture of the poachers who killed and dehorned a rhino in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park at the weekend.
In a statement released on Monday, the park’s chief executive Andrew Zaloumis said the carcass of the rhino was discovered in the Ozabeni section of the park in northern KwaZulu-Natal by a patrol.
“Both horns were very crudely removed. We are incensed by the senseless killing of this rhino,” he said.
Tony Conway, the park’s Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife co-ordinator, said a R100 000 reward was being offered to anyone who provided information leading to the poachers' arrest and conviction.
The latest rhino fatality brings to 57 the number of rhino killed by poachers in KwaZulu-Natal. Nationally, the figure stands at 456 rhino killed since the beginning of the year.
This is the sixth rhino poached in the park in the past 24 months.
A rhino was poached in the Western Shores section of iSimangaliso about seven days ago.
“Destroying endangered species is an ecological and economic crime. Not only are rhino part of our collective national heritage, (but) the presence of wildlife is a vital resource for the country and region,” said Zaloumis.
“In a region marked by poverty, tourism and conservation are the biggest employers on which families’ survival and paying school fees depend.” - Sapa