Tunde Folawiyo | Poachers continue to target rhinos in South Africa

June 18, 2014 admin Protecting RhinosTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo biotunde folawiyo oiltunde folawiyo profile

The increase in the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries has resulted in a sharp spike in incidences of poaching in South Africa. The latter is home to more than two-thirds of the world’s rhino population, and as such is freTunde Folawiyoquently used as a base by poachers hoping to cash in on this profitable ‘product’. Wildlife conservation enthusiasts such as Tunde Folawiyo are probably aware that in 2013, more than a thousand rhinos were slaughtered for their horns – this is twice the number killed during 2012.

More recently, a group of thieves in South Africa stole 40 rhino horns from the MTPA (Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency) in South Africa. According to a representative from Hawks, an anti-corruption unit within the local police force, the robbery was not a spontaneous act, but rather a carefully-planned operation by people who knew exactly where to find the rhino horn inside the park. It has been described as the biggest theft of its kind in recent history.

Whilst poaching is a serious offence in South Africa, criminals are willing to take the risk of getting caught, as the profits which can be made from the sale of this item are enormous. Buyers of this product pay a great deal of money for it, as in addition to being used for medicinal purposes, rhino horn is considered to be a status symbol in many Asian countries, in much the same way that expensive cars, rare artwork and large houses are in other places.

Conservation groups are determined to put a stop to the slaughtering of these animals, and have begun to employ the use of technology in the war against rhino poaching. Drones – known by most for their usage in military operations – are now being used to protect this species. As someone who is interested in protecting endangered species, Tunde Folawiyo may know that an organisation called ‘Shadow View’ has anti-poaching drone operations set up in Uganda and South Africa, and is planning to set up a third system in Malawi. These devices enable park rangers to carry out surveillance of areas where poaching frequently occurs, and also allows them to monitor the activity of rhino herds, and thus learn more about their behaviour.

In addition to this, one individual from Australia has also taken a dramatic step to discourage those living in Asian countries from buying rhino horn. Lynn Johnson’s fundraising work has helped her to raise over $20,000, which she has since used to place advertisements in Vietnamese newspapers, in which she warns the public about the dangers of using this product.

'Shadow View'AfricaAfrica's endangered animalsAsian countriesBlack rhinocerosDrone protectionHawksMalawipoachingrhino herdsrhino hornrhinosSouth Africastatus symbolsurveillancetheftTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africatunde folawiyo profileUgandawildlife conservation

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