Pink Poison, the Surprising New Trend That’s Saving Rhinos

Comments Off on Pink Poison, the Surprising New Trend That’s Saving Rhinos

“This is a great idea, I hope those that use the horn of any dead rhino suffer appalling reactions & suffer greatly; its’ nothing less than they deserve. If there stupid enough to use rhino horn instead of chewing their own fingernails, I have no sympathy. But, I’m not that happy either, that this pink potion has already killed test subjects; especially a rhino at an event to promote the cocktail. If inadequate studies have been performed to test this cocktail, should it go on, how many more rhino will die through testing; will several dying, justify saving the lives of those that are left? Or is there an easier option to save the rhino?”

“I’m for anything that stops the rhino poachers, dealers & resellers; but not at the cost of losing the  lives of an already declining species. If only there was a way to stop poaching, without putting the rhino’s life at risk; to simply catch & use anaesthetics are high risk factors that could end in death, irrelevant of what is going to be implanted into the horn!”

“So think how much it costs in terms of drugs, anesthetics, vets, helicopters, spotters, darts, dart guns, man power etc. to implant something into the horn of one rhino? A rhino, who could die from the anaesthetic or stress of capture: but the process is being done to hopefully stop it being killed by poachers!. Then think of those that go out & poach said species…Why do they do it? Well I’m pretty sure it’s not because they hate the rhino species, they do it for money only, perhaps it’s easy money, which is the attraction; especially when your family are constantly hungry etc.”

” So perhaps the simplest, least cost-effective idea, is being totally overlooked!! Consider the cost of all the above, to one rangers wages & it’s obvious which is the cheaper & most cost-effective way of saving the rhino; more manpower on the ground…but why just rangers already trained up!”!

“What about the poachers? they risk their lives for such a small percentage in wages; so why not turn it around? They only poach for money, so perhaps they could be convinced to fight for the other side, i.e. protecting the rhino & being paid to do so; instead of being paid to kill the rhino! They are already savvy in the knowledge of rhino tracking etc. because they have worked out how & when is the easiest time to kill without being caught. Of course those in charge would have to be diligent, as newly employed protectors of rhino, could easily still work for the poaching kings, on an undercover basis! Inside knowledge could just as easily kill rhino; if done the right way. One just has to think of a way of making poachers protect; instead of kill!

“Perhaps if the government implemented an incentive, to suggest that all rhino poachers who come forward of their own free will, will not be charged for past regressions (otherwise they won’t come; even though I would be so tempted to slap them in chains!) but will be taken on & trained as a special task force, to be paid to save the rhino rather than kill. At the end of the day, it all comes down to money! Rhino potions can not be sold in shops, without those that poach the rhino horn! To stop poaching, one has to think of those at the bottom of the pile, those that do the poaching; because without them, there will be no rhino horn. So give them an incentive to stop, a uniform, a regular weekly income, less risk of being killed by rangers etc. & there might just be a better chance to stop this trade…there is no harm in trying, right??”

Rhino experts discuss a bright approach to keeping poachers away. Please note the following picture has been digitally altered!

This photo has been digitally altered and is not an actual photo of a rhino at Sabi Sand. (Photo: Heinrich van den Berg/Getty)

This photo has been digitally altered and is not an actual photo of a rhino at Sabi Sand. (Photo: Heinrich van den Berg/Getty)

With over 200 rhinos already dead this year at the hands of poachers in South Africa and no signs of the slaughter slowing, some innovative rhinoceros lovers are stepping up their game.

Wildlife workers at Sabi Sand, a private game reserve at the southernmost tip of Kruger National Park, have injected a special cocktail into 100 rhino horns, turning them pink in an effort to deter illegal horn hunters.

In addition to discoloring the horn, the pink dye can also be detected by airport scanners, even when the horn is ground into a powder to make the high-priced traditional “medicines” that help fuel the killing of rhinos. The hope is to make transport of the illegal product that much riskier.

And that’s not all. There’s poison in the pink

The indelible pink dye is mixed with parasiticides, usually used to control ticks. Though it’s not meant to kill unscrupulous poachers and consumers who ingest the powder, it does have some pretty nasty side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ironically, these are some of the symptoms which rhino horn is incorrectly believed to alleviate. (Rhino horns contain nothing more than the same keratin found in fingernails.)

This comes at a time when the demand for traditional “medicines” is growing, says Tom Milliken, Rhino Program coordinator with Traffic, a leading wildlife trade-monitoring network. He says, “There is a whole new market that advertises rhino horn as a successful cancer treatment. It’s being marketed in hospitals to the families of the critically ill. In addition, it has also become a trendy hangover remedy.”

Dr. Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, has concerns about the ethical implications of intentionally poisoning something that may well be ingested, but hopes the project will draw attention to the dire situation.

“If this strategy discourages even one person from buying horn, I think it’s marvelous,” she says.

Milliken also understands the urgency to save every rhino possible, but isn’t sold on this technique. “I’m not sure I fully buy the notion that this dye cocktail has been adequately tested and certified to be non-harmful to rhinos,” he says. “The process of anesthetizing living rhinos to inject the cocktail is time consuming and entails risks; we know of rhinos in the private sector that have died in the process, including one at an event to specifically showcase this particular dye technique.

News Link:-

9 Dehorned Rhinos Found Alive

Comments Off on 9 Dehorned Rhinos Found Alive

Johannesburg – Fourteen rhino have been found dehorned in two provinces since Thursday, police said on Sunday. Three of them had been killed.

Eleven of the rhino were found at the Hartzhoogte game lodge in Amalia near Schweizer-Reneke in the North West, Captain Paul Ramaloko saidin a statement.


The game farmer found the first carcass on Thursday after he followed a trail of blood. Following the discovery, the farmer searched his farm and found 10 de-horned rhino, nine of them still alive.

The two dead rhino are believed to have been killed almost a month ago.

The nine surviving rhino were taken to a place of safety. The estimated loss to the game farmer was about R5 million.

In the Eastern Cape three rhino were found dehorned at a game farm near Kenton-on-Sea.

“A driver was taking tourists on a game drive when he noticed three rhino in distress,” Ramaloko said.

The driver called the police and a veterinarian.

“When they arrived at the scene, the police noticed that one of the three rhino was dead. Two rhino were in a critical condition,” Ramaloko said.

The rhinos had been darted before their horns were removed.

The two wounded rhino were being treated. Police were investigating.

 News Link:-


Lions ordered killed for King’s necklaces

Comments Off on Lions ordered killed for King’s necklaces

“WTF…how utterly selfish & heartless of the king; does he not know we are in the 21st century?  If they still want to live like Zulu’s & live in mud huts that’s fine, but don’t be killing animals just for bloody jewellery. Lion numbers in the wild are dwindling fast, the king could have had a few teeth from a lion that had died of natural causes…not taken lives from the wild. What kind of mixed message does this send out, if animals are killed just for a king’s festival but anyone local found to be poaching will be arrested?”

The two elephants were shot in the same park where rangers were recently ordered to shoot two lions so that the Zulu king and senior chiefs could have lion claw necklaces made. 

FILE PICTURE – Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture by Refilwe Modise.

When the order came for two lions to be shot Tembe rangers insisted that only lions which were old, sterile or in poor condition be shot.

But Ezemvelo head office insisted that two lions be shot as soon as possible to give the chiefs time to have their necklaces made before the annual Zulu reed dance.

The necklaces made of lion claws are a traditional status symbol.

Shortly before the deadline for the lions to be shot, a male lion escaped from Tembe  and was shot after killing several cattle.

No attempts were made to capture or chase the lion back into the lion park. Its carcass was  transported to the royal household.

Because the animal allegedly posed a threat to humans, the nature conservation body did not legally need a destruction permit.

‘‘Any animal that escapes from the reserve and causes damage outside the reserve is usually killed,” KZN Wildlife spokesman Musa Mntambo told The Citizen last month.

“The lion was wounded outside the reserve and then shot dead –  to stop its suffering –  when it re-entered the reserve,” he said.

Mntambo denied that any lion had been donated to the Zulu king.

Shortly thereafter,  another lion died in a freak accident as rangers were attempting to capture it after it was sold to a private game reserve.
Its carcass was driven to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife head office from Tembe and handed over to a senior manager.

The manager then accompanied the carcass to the home of a senior chief, where the animal was handed over.

Multiple attempts to contact royal spokesman Mbonisi Zulu for comment were u unsuccessful

On Thursday Independent Newspapers reported that a hippo  ended up in the Zulu king’s cooking pot after Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife shot the animal.

The hippo was shot in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve capture pens, where it was held for eight weeks while the wildlife body ‘‘fattened up the animal’’.

Ezemvelo reportedly said that the decision had been taken to destroy the hippo as it was a “problem animal” and had attacked a St Lucia home-owner, but did not explain why the animal was then fattened up for eight weeks before being shot.

After the report Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife CEO Bandile Mkhize,  who allegedly ordered the possibly illegal killing of the two lions,  lashed out at his critics, accusing them of being nostalgic for the days of apartheid.

Mkhize was quoted as saying: “From time to time we donate animals to the king.

“We have a special relationship and negotiate with him on what is possible or not, but I would hate to see him portrayed as someone who bulldozes us.”

The shooting of the lion, elephant and hippo come at a time when Ezemvelo KZN Wild faces funding shortages. Depending on their sex and size, elephants can fetch hundreds of thousands of rands at auctionsHippos can fetch up to R20 000 each.

News Link:

CT Scan – Helped Save Life Of Rhino After Poachers

Comments Off on CT Scan – Helped Save Life Of Rhino After Poachers

“Just found this video & wanted to add it as part of the previous one!  Wildlife veterinary expert, Doctor William Fowlds, from the Kariega Game Reserve contacted Witmer Lab at Ohio University, for help in treating Themba & Thindi. They were able to do a CT of a rhino head, which gave Dr Fowlds the knowledge & understanding of the complex underlying bone, nasal tissue & nerves which he needed to treat the rhino. Unfortunately Themba passed away from a leg injury related to the night of the poaching in March. But with the knowledge from the CT scan, Dr Fowlds managed to save the life of Thindi who continues to thrive in the expert care of the team at Kariega Game Reserve.” 


Published on 31 May 2012 by 

South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of Africa’s remaining rhinoceroses, most of which live in national parks and reserves.

But even in these protected areas, hundreds of rhinos are killed each year by poachers responding to a skyrocketing demand for rhino horn, which is used in Asian traditional medicine.

Often, poachers sever the horns while the animals are still alive. Poachers attacked three rhinos at the Kariega Game Reserve in March 2012. One rhino died of his injuries shortly after.

The two surviving rhinos suffered serious damage to their sinus cavities where the horns were removed. A veterinarian working with the reserve contacted WitmerLab at Ohio University, where researchers use high-tech imaging and digital modeling to study the morphology of vertebrate heads.

The researchers scanned a 120-kilogram white rhino head from their storage facility and used the images to create a detailed model of the nasal passages of an adult white rhino, which helped the reserve treat the severely injured animals.

This latest Bio Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History‘s Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Biodiversity until July 6, 2012. 

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at

Related Links

WitmerLab at Ohio University

Kariega Game Reserve: Save the Rhino

South Africa National Parks: Statistics for Poaching

OU professor, students answer call for help from South Africa…

IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesCeratotherium simum

World Wildlife Foundation: African Rhino Poaching Crisis…




Wounded rhino dies after escapes poachers

Comments Off on Wounded rhino dies after escapes poachers

Pietermaritzburg – Poachers who slaughtered and dehorned two white rhino in the Ezemvelo-controlled Weenen game reserve this month are also believed to be responsible for the death of a third white rhino.

Reference only - Rhino horn is in big demand.

For reference only - Rhino horn is in big demand.

Its carcass was recovered in the reserve late last week.

The horns of the third rhino were not removed, but investigators established that the animal had been shot and wounded in its shoulder and probably died a slow death after managing to escape from the poachers.

The hunt for the poachers is continuing amid gloomy reports that the toll of rhino poached countrywide this year has risen to 135 already.

The Kruger National Park has lost 75 rhino to poachers since the beginning of the year, department of environmental affairs spokesperson Albi Modise revealed this week. The second highest number of rhino slain by poachers is in KwaZulu-Natal with 18, Limpopo with 17 and the North West Province with 15.

The report said South Africa lost 448 rhino to illegal hunting and trade in rhino horn last year.

Modise said the department was encouraged by an increasing number of arrests and convictions this year to counter rhino poaching. He added that 89 people were arrested for illegal activities involving rhino horns across the country since January.

Colonel Vishnu Naidoo reported that a game reserve manager, Walter Nkuna, 40, who is believed to be linked to rhino poaching, shot and killed himself at Thabazimbi in Limpopo when police began to move in on him this week.

via Wounded rhino dies after escape | News24.

Alleged rhino poacher kills himself

Comments Off on Alleged rhino poacher kills himself

Polokwane – A game reserve manager allegedly involved in rhino poaching shot and killed himself at the reserve in Dwaalboom, near Thabazimbi, Limpopo, police said on Tuesday.

Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said the body of 40-year-old Walter Nkuna was found in his room in the reserve on Monday.

“Police were following leads of rhino poaching after a rhino was killed last Friday at the game farm. The police were about to confront the suspect when he was found dead.

“His official firearm was found next to his body. It is suspected he might have ended his life when police were about to arrest him.”

There was no evidence of foul play, Naidoo said.


via Alleged rhino poacher kills self | News24.

Rhino Poaching: An African Tragedy. A Global Responsibility! – YouTube

Comments Off on Rhino Poaching: An African Tragedy. A Global Responsibility! – YouTube

“OMG…This happened last year, poachers don’t care how they get the horn, as you can clearly see, they are heartless bastards who are doing others dirty work…I can’t begin to imagine the pain this poor rhino was in. Thank god the ranger found it & put it out of its misery…It is humans that are the animals”

Rhino Poaching: An African Tragedy. A Global Responsibility! – YouTube.

This footage shows a rhino from an Eastern Cape private game reserve which had its horn hacked off while it was still alive. Vets and wildlife managers tried in vain to save its life but the wounds were too severe and it had to be put down. Help the Wilderness Foundation fight this tragedy by signing the petition:

Farmers appear for KZN rhino poaching

Comments Off on Farmers appear for KZN rhino poaching

Brent Stirton of South Africa has won first prize Nature Stories for the

Two game farmers and two field guides are among five men arrested in connection with rhino poaching in northern KwaZulu-Natal who will apply for bail on Thursday, according to a report.

Farmers Ewart Potgieter, 34, from Louwsburg, and Riaan Vermaak, 32, from Newcastle, were arrested on March 4 after police set a trap for them, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

The two field guides, Nkosinathi Sithole and Mduduzi Sithole, were both employed by the Mkhuze Falls private game reserve near Pongola, while the fifth suspect, Filemon Mbatha, was a farm worker.

The five men were allegedly led by undercover policemen to believe that they would be able to poach ten rhinos in the game reserve. They were arrested shortly after they had cut the game reserve’s fence.

Police confiscated a number of weapons, and later allegedly found forged US bank notes with a face value of US22,300 (R168,334) at Potgieter’s house.

The five men appeared in the Magudu Magistrate’s Court on a number of charges, and a bail application would resume on Thursday.


%d bloggers like this: