More than 30 rhino carcasses found in two months

01 Mar 2016 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 01 MAR (NAMPA) – Thirty-four rhino carcasses have been discovered in the Etosha National Park and Palmwag/Klip River areas of the Kunene Region since the beginning of the year.
Five carcasses were found at Palmwag/Klip River and 29 carcasses were found in the park after aerial and foot patrols were conducted.
A media statement issued by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Monday said the ages of the carcasses range over a period of one year.
A media briefing on the anti-poaching operation at Etosha and the change of command of the operation from Omusati Regional Commander, Commissioner Simeon Shindinge to Oshikoto Regional Commander, Commissioner Anne-Marie Nainda, were held at the national park’s Galton Gate.
“Although significant progress has been made in the fight against illegal poaching, the war is not over yet as every now and then we receive reports of rhinos and other protected species being killed by poachers despite the arrest of more than 30 suspects and the confiscation of fire arms,” Deputy Inspector-General of Operations, Major-General James Tjivikua Tjivikua said during the media briefing.
Four Namibians who were arrested in December 2015 for the poaching of a rhino at Klip River have also been linked to some of the other carcasses discovered this year. In addition, a Chinese national was arrested in Windhoek last month after being found in possession of 1.15 kilogrammes of rhino horn and abalone.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analyses are being carried out to determine the origin of the pieces of rhino horn, Tjivikua said.
No elephant carcasses have been discovered since the beginning of the year, although one Zambian national was arrested in January in the Kongola area in possession of three elephant tusks. Tjivikua noted that the origin of these tusks has not yet been established.
Meanwhile, three rhino carcasses were found at the Grootberg Lodge in Kunene Region late December last year. One of the carcasses was a calf that died when its mother was killed by poachers. It is suspected that the rhinos were killed some time ago as the carcasses were old.