57 rhinos poached in 2018: MET

11 Feb 2019 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 FEB (NAMPA) – A combined total of 57 black and white rhinos, along with 26 elephant, were poached in Namibia during the year 2018, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has revealed.
The Director of Parks and Wildlife Management in the MET, Colgar Sikopo, at a handover ceremony of equipment donated by the United States government to combat wildlife crime here on Monday, said that one black rhino had already been poached in the year 2019.
He emphasised that most of the rhinos poached were in the rhino custodian and private farms with white rhino ownership and not in the national parks, while the elephants were mainly in the Kavango and Zambezi regions.
“A total of 120 persons were arrested in connection with illegal hunting, in possession of wildlife tusks, and pangolin skins,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, MET Minister, Pohamba Shifeta said the combination of the Namibian Police Force, the Namibian Defence Force and MET’s anti-poaching units made the arrest possible.
Shifeta also commended the public for its assistance towards the officials in apprehending the poachers.
He noted that some poachers have been arrested repeatedly, hence, the ministry will appeal to the judiciary and investigating officers not to consider bail for multiple-time offenders.
“It is very discouraging for our officials because you will arrest a person today for the second time, the next day the same person is released,” he stressed.
He noted that the ministry for the past three years held workshops with selected magistrates and prosecution officers regarding wildlife crime, which helped them to understand the value of some of wildlife being poached.