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Two rhino killed in Gauteng

In total, 480 rhino were killed in South Africa in 2013, while the number of arrests increased to 140.

An official from the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit uses a metal detector to search for bullets on dead rhino. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.
Local

JOHANNESBURG – Two rhino have been killed at the Rhenosterfontein game farm in Cullinan, north of Pretoria.

Authorities found shells from high-calibre firearms near the dehorned animals.

The police's Johannes Japhta says no arrests were made.

“After they [the farm owners] heard gunshots in the early hours of the morning, all the people on the farm were mobilised and police were called to the scene, but they couldn’t find anything.”

Meanwhile, three men have been jailed for five years each for rhino poaching in Limpopo.

The Mozambican nationals were arrested in May last year after they were caught poaching at the Nwanedi resort.

The Department of Environmental Affairs released a statement on Thursday saying they remained “committed to addressing the ongoing scourge of rhino poaching”.

In total, 480 rhino were killed in South Africa in 2013, while the number of arrests increased to 140.
 
RHINO HORN TRADE

In the statement, the department also discussed their plan to flood market with rhino horn in stockpiles.

Last week, government said it was considering a once-off sale of over 18,000 kilograms (kg) of rhino horn in order to decrease the incentive for poachers.

Theoretically, increasing the supply would lower the price of rhino horns, meaning poachers would be less willing to take part in poaching.

The decision would not be taken lightly, the department added.

“It followed an extensive public consultation process, both nationally and internationally.”

The plan can only be approved once it is presented to the next conference of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

The gathering, which will be hosted in South Africa, takes place in 2016.

Analysts questioned whether flooding the market would deter poachers.

South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

(Edited by Craig Wynn)

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