ANALYSIS: Lies, damned lies and rhino statistics
A 10% fall in poaching last year is not the good news it appears to be — especially considering SA plans to resume its horn trade, writes Tony Carnie
The latest 10% drop in the national rhino poaching statistics may sound like good news, but it masks the fact that the decade-long bloodbath has thinned out animal numbers so deeply that rhinos are no longer such easy meat for poachers. Poachers now have to work that much harder to fill the order books for international crime cartels because the Kruger National Park rhino population has been hammered since 2008. Also, the target has shifted away from the Kruger to KwaZulu-Natal, where there has been a staggering 38% increase in horn poaching over the past year. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa announced on February 27 that 1,054 rhinos were killed for their horns nationwide during 2016 — compared with 1,175 in 2015. That adds up to 121 fewer rhinos killed during 2016, or 161 fewer than the record tally of 1,215 rhinos poached in 2014. But it still adds up to roughly three rhinos gunned down every 24 hours. Compare this daily killing rate with the decade preceding 2008, whe...
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