Zimbabwe: Poachers kill three black rhinos in Zimbabwe

source: ZimNews
author/source:Mail & Guardian (SA)
published:Fri 9-Nov-2007
posted on this site:Sun 11-Nov-2007

The three animals had had their horns sawn off by wildlife veterinarians
Harare – Poachers have shot dead three black rhinoceroses – a species listed as the most highly endangered large mammal on Earth – on a private conservancy, its owner said on Thursday. John Travers said poachers armed with AK47 automatic rifles on Wednesday night evaded the armed guards surrounding the rhino at the Imire game park about 100km east of Harare and shot dead two females and a male, but left a four-week-old calf unharmed. Zimbabwe in the 1980s had the largest population in Africa of black rhino, about 7 500, but a wave of poaching all over Africa – driven by demand for the horn in the Far East as a cure for fevers and a sexual stimulant and in Yemen where it was used for dagger handles – decimated the population, including Zimbabwe’s. The horn is composed of tightly compacted hair fibres, and has no other pharmacological properties, according to biologists.

About 1 500 of the surviving population were captured in the Zambezi Valley on Zimbabwe’s northern border and taken to apparent safety in national game parks and conservancies in the interior of the country. About 500 are still left, according to wildlife experts, but they have come under increasing [continue reading]

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