The former head of Africa’s most successful rhino conservation agency has sprung to the defence of local rhino baron John Hume. Dr George Hughes is a zoologist and former game ranger‚ who rose through the ranks to become CEO of the renowned Natal Parks Board. He lauded Hume’s efforts to multiply the species, as more than 1‚000 rhinos are butchered each year by criminal poaching syndicates. "John is one of the most successful rhino farmers the country has seen and should be lauded for creating a population of real significance. He has been doing what the formal conservation agencies have been promoting for decades‚" Hughes said. Hughes said Hume should be praised rather than pilloried for his attempts to breed rhinos and sell the horns legally without killing them. All the world’s surviving African white rhino are descended from a tiny remnant population of about 50 rhinos in the iMfolozi Game Reserve‚ which was guarded and slowly multiplied by the Natal Parks Board by moving them to...

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