The bull buffalo had been a brute, a rippling block of muscle crowned by enormous horns. But when the lions closed in, he was easy prey, exhausted and suffering from a searing pain that only death could end. The buffalo, whose skull is now bleaching in the sun on the grounds of the Kruger National Park’s K9 unit, fell victim to a new wave of poaching sweeping the reserve: the use of snares to feed a burgeoning market in bushmeat and animal parts for muti. Coming on the heels of the rhino poaching crisis, the snaring surge is a new battlefront in the wildlife wars and one that suggests poverty and joblessness remain entrenched around the park. “We believe strongly that there is a bushmeat trade developing outside the park. It’s linked to the general lawlessness challenge outside the park,” Glenn Phillips, the Kruger’s managing executive, said. “According to the last census about 2-million people were living on our western boundary with an unemployment rate of between 40% and 60%. So ...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.