Namibia is currently experiencing an alarming surge in rhino poaching, with the number of poached rhinos reaching 48 this year, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Tourism. Of these, 32 were critically endangered black rhinos and 16 were near-threatened white rhinos.
"Poaching has become more prevalent in private farms as well as black rhino custodianship farms,” said Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda. “We are busy implementing new measures across the board to counter this surge. We will also be availing the services of our helicopter for aerial patrols in hotspot areas.”
Reports say that anti-poaching units on privately-owned farms are being strengthened, and that police and law enforcement officials would be assisting private farmers with intelligence, patrols and enforcement of laws.
David Barritt, executive director of Animal Survival International (ASI) has condemned the poaching wave, saying the planet could simply not afford to lose rhinos in this number. “Poaching is a scourge decimating vulnerable wildlife in great numbers. Namibia’s track record of protecting rhinos is poor and it is high time that the governments turned talk into action. If serious, decisive action is not immediately taken, poaching will wipe out entire species that we’ll never see again.”