Namibia rhino deaths raise fears of widening poaching crisis

December 27, 2012
A black dehorned rhinoceros walks at the Bona Bona Game Reseve in South Africa on August 3, 2012. The rare killing of a black rhino for its horns in Namibia has prompted fears that a poaching epidemic in neighbouring South Africa could spill across the border.

The rare killing of a black rhino for its horns in Namibia has prompted fears that a poaching epidemic in neighbouring South Africa could spill across the border.

"Staff of the Save the Rhino Trust found a female black rhino killed and its horns had been removed," an official of Namibia's ministry of environment and tourism told AFP Thursday.

"One man has been already arrested and the two rhino horns were found and confiscated."

Namibia's Save the Rhino Trust discovered the dead rhino on Sunday in the remote Damaraland area of Namibia's northwestern Kunene Region, some 600 kilometres (370 miles) northwest of the capital Windhoek.

The female had been with a young calf, which could "unfortunately not be rescued, it was too weak and died," the official said.

Rhino stay near their mother even if she is killed.

The deaths are a rare blip in otherwise successful protection of the rhino in Namibia, which sees years go by without an incident of rhino poaching being reported.

During the 1980s, poaching was rampant in northwestern Namibia, but after independence in 1990, it was brought under control and the black rhino population increased.

Namibia is now home to over 2,000 rhino and the raises concern that industrial-scale poaching that has hit this year may be spreading.

At least 633 rhino have been killed in South Africa this year, fuelled by demand from and elsewhere in Asia, were horn is variously believed to be an aphrodisiac, an anti-carcinogenic and an amulet.

Explore further: Hornless rhino carcasses found in S.Africa

Related Stories

Hornless rhino carcasses found in S.Africa

November 19, 2010

South African wildlife officials have found 18 rhino carcasses dumped by poachers in a remote area with their horns removed, a spokesman for the northern province of Limpopo said Friday.

South Africa rhino poaching hits record: WWF

November 3, 2011

Rhino poaching in South Africa has hit a new record high, with 341 of the animals lost to poachers so far this year as black-market demand for rhino horn soars, wildlife group WWF said Thursday.

Hong Kong seizes record haul of rhino horns

November 15, 2011

Hong Kong Customs officers have seized a record haul of 33 rhino horns along with ivory chopsticks and bracelets hidden inside a container shipped from South Africa, officials said on Tuesday.

South Africa rhino poaching toll jumps to 633

December 19, 2012

At least 633 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year, a record toll as demand for their horns continues to surge on the black market in Asia, the government said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing

November 25, 2015

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular ...

How cells 'climb' to build fruit fly tracheas

November 25, 2015

Fruit fly windpipes are much more like human blood vessels than the entryway to human lungs. To create that intricate network, fly embryonic cells must sprout "fingers" and crawl into place. Now researchers at The Johns Hopkins ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.