‘Authorities failed to catch rhino poachers’

Rhino on a game farm. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

NORTH WEST - Management at the Hartzhoogte Game Farm in the North West on Monday said the recent poaching of 11 rhinos on the property could have been avoided.

Nine of the animals were killed, and three more de-horned in the past six weeks.

Management said the reserve alerted the authorities about the threat of poaching months before they found the first rhino carcass.

Hunting manager Jack Sparma said they saw two or three unknown men entering their 8,000-hectare farm from its southern point several times.

“We were told there was going to be an operation to stop these people from coming in and out of the ranch, and it never happened. I believe all of this comes from that.”

He believes the men had been scoping out the area before returning to kill the animals.

Sparma said the nature conservation authorities could have caught the poachers, but failed to show up after promising to return the week after it alerted them.