Man Friday: Rhino Horns
THERE is a terrible feeling of déjà vu about the announcement by Environment Minister Edna Molewa that South Africa intends lobbying Cites to allow us to sell off our estimated 18 ton stockpile of rhino horn. This, she says, would flood the market and stem the slaughter of South Africa’s rhinos. Sadly, this is a “been there, done that” scenario – in the elephant world.
More than 2 500 elephants have been poached in southern Africa in the past two years, and over 50 000 in the rest of Africa. It’s rapidly becoming a scenario to rival the terrible “elephant wars” of the 1970s.
Starting in the early 1960s, there was wholesale slaughter of Africa’s elephants. Between 1963 and 1989, 86 percent of Africa’s elephants were poached.
By the early 1980s, the elephant population of the continent had dropped from 1.3 million to 600 000. Just in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, more than 100 000 elephants were butchered between 1975 and 1986.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Cape Times