Game Warden

Visiting John Hume's Rhino Breeding Operation, South Africa.

111 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Reply to Sangeeta.

1.To see the answer to your first question , please READ the article above :).

 

2. I would benefit from legalized trade in rhino horn by keeping my rhinos alive! With an option for people to buy horn legally there would be less options for them to send poachers to my husband's property to poach our rhinos. We could compete with poachers who currently have complete monopoly in supplying horn. Also local communities would benefit, where instead of becoming a poachers they would follow our model and breed rhinos for future generations. As for me personally, I would spend all the money like we do now, anyway, for the rhino breeding programs. I would also love to help local communities to become proud rhino owners. For my dream come true, I would need a legalized trade in rhino horn.

 

3. Look back at the rhino conservation success history in South Africa and you'll see - the private rhino ownership helped not only save rhinos in South Africa but also helped increase their numbers while the rest of the world have lost 90% of their rhino populations, all because they never invited private rhino ownership into national conservation. While over 5000 rhinos of South Africa from private land could supply horn for the legal market-rhinos in national parks could recover from poaching crisis, which evolved from the change of law- in 13 Feb. 2009 South African government has banned for private rhino owners legal trade in rhino horn .The result- over 3200 were poached, most of which in national parks and tourist resorts. Why the law was changed is still huge mistery to me but one day I will find the answer. I suspect that rhino poaching has been designed by NGO's who collect donations on a wildlife crisis; they probably have influenced our goverment or maybe someone from our goverment is INVOLVED with those NGO's. Huge mafia in my opinion, which no one yet investigated. The change of law is the reason for rhino poaching crisis in South Africa!

Private rhinos are essential for saving species for future generations!

 

Kind regards.

 

 

P.S. Would be nice to read your answers to my latest four questions. Thank you. :)

Edited by Albina Hume

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Edited the first post to include a picture of me with John Hume, thanks @.

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Posted (edited)

@@Albina Hume - Ms. Hume - I have read the article - quite carefully, actually, but missed your name as your husband's name tends to predominate whilst discussing this topic. Sorry for the oversight.


I have heard a lot of talk about NGOs and wildlife orgs profiting from so-called 'manufactured' wildlife crises, but if I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that NGOs and animal welfare organizations etc are actually collaborating with or creating poachers in order to increase donations to their organizations? Is this what you are saying?


Re my question about how you may benefit from rhino, I asked that question before I realized that you were Mr. Hume's wife. Clearly a redundant question in retrospect but thanks for the clarification above.



As to your 4 questions:


Question 1) No, I am not involved with any organization that collects donations for wildlife (I am, however, a donor);


Questions 2) & 3) I am not a professional conservationist nor a scientist, so unless someone else can chime in to the contrary, I am quite willing to stipulate that the answers to your two questions are 'None'. However, I am not sure that this proves anything except what you said - that no animals or birds have gone extinct due to trade in them.


Question 4: The answer to this question is so obvious that I am surprised you ask it here - farming rhino on private land in SA will pretty much decimate wild rhino populations everywhere else where they cannot afford 24 hour security and 10 ft tall electric fences.


But to revert to your questions 2 & 3 which I find more thought-provoking:





Why does it matter to you that no animal or bird has gone extinct because of CITES approved trade? From your questions, I suspect that you may believe that saving an animal from extinction is the ultimate conservation goal. But, I disagree. Like @@cannedlion said earlier in this thread, I do not see the point of amassing large quantities of wild animals on farms or captive breeding facilities if their natural environment is so toxic that they cannot survive in it.


If simply being alive or non-extinct is the sole criterion of success, then I am afraid the misunderstanding and miscommunication among wildlife lovers may arise from a much more profound difference in how they understand the word 'conservation' itself.


I would like to know why it matters to us at all if the rhino (or any other animal) becomes extinct? What motivates our urge to save the rhino (or any other animal) from extinction? When we turn a wild animal into a farmed commodity, how does that benefit the animal in question? Can we call the simple act of an animal being alive a successful conservation story when we cannot save the animal's natural habitat and the ecosystem that supports it? Etc etc. In the absence of a broader picture, I believe that the rhino is destined to either live behind bars in perpetuity or go the way of the dodo and the auk.


I want to be clear, I am not questioning your commitment or your husband's commitment to rhinos at all. Nor am I suggesting that private entities cannot play an important role in the conservation of rhino or other animals. But I think we may have a much more fundamental disagreement about what is conservation in the first place. And unless there can be some meeting of minds on that, we will all continue to talk at one another from opposite sides of the fence.
Edited by Sangeeta
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2. Please give me an example of animal that gone extinct because of legalized trade in its product.

 

 

1) Passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) - cheap meat for the slaves

2) Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis) - meat trade
3) Sea mink (Neovison macrodon) - fur trade
4) Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) - fat used for oil lamps
5) Great auk (Pinguinus impennis) - specimens and eggs trade

 

 

Lets take a look at this ..

 

1) Passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) - cheap meat for the slaves . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_pigeon went extinct in early 20th Century - reason over hunting and habitat destruction.

 

2) Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis) - meat trade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo_curlew . Unregulated consumption - up to 2 million birds killed in one year in 1800's, habitat destruction and the added problem of it being a migratory bird.

 

3) Sea mink (Neovison macrodon) - fur trade . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_mink went extinct in 1860 sometime. No regulation - no consumptive use.

 

4) Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) - fat used for oil lamps . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steller%27s_sea_cow ~ Hunted to extinction in 1768

 

5) Great auk (Pinguinus impennis) - specimens and eggs trade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_auk . Extinct 1844 No sustainable use there.

 

Its important to note that these species went extinct in ages where witches were still burned alive, and there was no wildlife policy. In those early days there was no concept of sustainable utilisation and no regulations at all. You may as well add dodo's to that list or the elephant bird. But in the same ears, the american bison nearly went extinct for the same reason - today bison meat is sold in hamburgers.

 

We live in a whole new world, and if you read Ian Players book "into the river of life" or "The white rhino SAGA" you will know that in 1950 wildlife was considered an irritant and a pest. Clearly things have changed since then.

 

There is a huge poaching epidemic with Perlemoen in South Africa, and now perlemoen is being sustainably farmed. Fortunately perlemoen doesn't have long eyelashes, and soon sustainable farming of perlemoen will supply the bulk of the market, as is the case with oysters and mussels.

 

Other mammals to benefit from sustainable use (apart from the rhino which made its recovery primarily because of sustainable use) are Bontebok, Sable, Roan, ostrich and crocodile - in fact the list can include many other animals as in South Africa wildlife has made a remarkable recovery since the 1950's as opposed to the decline in East Africa.

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Interesting article Matt, and John is certainly an interesting subject. I have also spent time with him and his Rhinos, and have huge respect for what he has achieved. I agree with you that he is not in it for the money and that Rhino are his passion.

 

But John is not typical of other Rhino farmers in SA who are most certainly in to Rhino farming for the money.

 

(Edited to remove location, Matt)

 

From my experience, most game farmers started doing what they do from a passion for wildlife, and the need to make an income from it is secondary, and very necessary. It is not a sin to make money.

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Posted (edited)

The list could be much longer if it wasn't for a bunch of conservationists that managed just in time to solve many desperate situation.

Do you really believe that if the legal trade starts poachers will stop killing rhinos in the Kruger, now that there is even a legal supply to launder the horn with?
how many populations of grey parrots have been smuggled to extinction despite CITES regulations? Or are you saying that there isn't a problem?
Sangeeta is right about the fishing industry. They keep overfishing fish stocks even in developed nations usually with impunity, and astonishingly most of what they do is legal.
Edited by Rwenzori

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The list could be much longer if it wasn't for a bunch of conservationists that managed just in time to solve many desperate situation.

Do you really believe that if the legal trade starts poachers will stop killing rhinos in the Kruger, now that there is even a legal supply to launder the horn with?
how many populations of grey parrots have been smuggled to extinction despite CITES regulations? Or are you saying that there isn't a problem?
Sangeeta is right about the fishing industry. They keep overfishing fish stocks even in developed nations usually with impunity, and astonishingly most of what they do is legal.

 

The fact is that Sustainable use is was only really conceived in 1950 and is a pretty sound practice by now.

 

I am fully aware about the African Grey parrot problem. I own two and will never get another as the practice of stripping them from the wild is not sustainable. However, I do believe that responsible breeders could turn the situation around. Look at the cockatoo and how they are actually called pests in Australia, and yet they are bred throughout the world for supply. Also remember that with the case of the African Grey, we are talking about countries like Congo, where such trade is very poorly regulated. In the case of the rhino we are talking about South Africa who have proven that they can turn a situation around, and the facts are there to show it.

 

The fishing industry needs tighter controls. I know that in the East African countries the coasts are being plundered by foreign vessels. This has nothing to do with sustainable use, but large scale poaching.

 

If you look at the list of animals you made, and the dates they went extinct, I would wager that sustainable use may well have been a way to have saved them all that while ago. In fact its a great pity that the wholesale plunder of wildlife in that era wasn't stopped earlier. But the list shows how much things have changed, and works in favour of sustainable use.

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@@Panthera Pardus, although I understand your reasoning that Rhino horn is not proven to have any medical properties. We have to understand that its also used as a status symbol - like diamonds.

 

There are hundreds of thousands of unproven herbal medicines still in use. Its a huge industry supplying the products. What you don't know is that most of those ingredients are supplied sustainably by people who don't believe in their properties.

 

For us to try and dictate to a population of billions that what they practice is wrong, and they need to change their ways is a long shot, but worth a try. As with the case of the parrots, when I found out what went on behind the industry, it was too late. As much as I try and pass this on to others, it falls on deaf ears, and friends continue to buy parrots.

 

I remember at school, smoking was against the rules, and the penalty was high, yet that didn't stop us smoking in the change rooms every lunch break. Clearly making something illegal doesn't stop it happening.

 

I am past trying to understand why people are willing to pay so much money for the rhino's horn, but I do understand something that the rhino doesn't. it is walking around with a bundle of cash attached to the end of its nose, and if we are not able to supply that to the market sustainably it will simply be killed for it.

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I must say that before visiting John Hume, I did not know what to expect. I think there was part of me that expected to see the stereotype farmer that chris mercer talks about. That would be the type that are so heavily publicised as ruthless greedy unscrupulous people who are exploiting Africas endangered wildlife. Of course - thats the way the media has portrayed many game farmers, and Chris has done his bit to perpetuate that portrayal.

 

The person I met couldn't be further from that. He was a just a regular chap, with no pretences and made no effort to butter us up or even win us over. I fully understood his frustrations where he knew without a shadow of doubt that legalising the trade will save his rhinos. There was no talk about saving his livelihood, or saving his farm, it was just about saving the rhino.

 

I was also interested in how his outfit worked to see if any rumours about the welfare of the rhinos were true, and how he gets such a high success rate at breeding. Once again, my expectations were exceeded - I didn't see rhino feedlots - as the press likes to harp on about, but happy rhinos running free, with little babies at their heal. While chatting to John it became clear that well fed, happy and healthy rhino breed better.

 

@@Albina Hume thank you for allowing us to visit.

 

I will admit to being a little overwhelmed when visiting the baby rhinos. It was pretty emotional when you look at these tiny little bouncing dinosaurs that they just want to get on and be happy with life, and have no idea that half the world wants to kill them for their horn.

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@@Albina Hume, South Africa has two narratives when it comes to conservation. I am going to start a thread on the history of conservation in South Africa to start the discussion on how it all started, where we come from, how we got to where we are and possible solutions.

 

You claim tha NGOs started the "rhino horn cures cancer" rumour so that they can get funding but you cannot substantiate this. Further you tried to link those of us who are opposed to legalising trade to NGOs and accused us of collecting donations on rhino blood. When we answered that we do not belong to any NGOs you repeated your questions about CITES. You have failed to answer my question. If a love one of yours was suffering with cancer would you give him/her rhino horn?

 

Here are some reports on the origin of the cancer claim. Read Here and Here Who supplied the Rhinos to the Chinese Pharmaceutical Company. Further we could not even get the data to be correct. Look here - scroll to the tables at the bottom of the link. We cannot at present account for what we are selling. Rhino horns diasappear from stockpiles - here is an example and we want to legalize trade. Sort out corruption, the crime, the poaching, the root cause first I say.

 

You further claim, and I quote

 

 

I suspect that rhino poaching has been designed by NGO's who collect donations on a wildlife crisis; they probably have influenced our goverment or maybe someone from our goverment is INVOLVED with those NGO's. Huge mafia in my opinion, which no one yet investigated. The change of law is the reason for rhino poaching crisis in South Africa!

 

This is again unsubstantiated. If anything the ZA Government wants trade to be legalized as they sitting on a stockpile estimated at USD10 Billion. If anything staff are involved in poaching or giving out information. We read about this daily. You can read about it right here in the minutes of the meeting held by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group on 20 March 2013. Dr. Mabunda, the ex CEO of SANParks talks about it. You can also read about how we were able to curb the elephant poaching (as I mentioned earlier) but they just not giving us enough resources to curb rhino poaching. You can also read about Minister Molewa getting a telling off for dragging her heals on preparing a case for CITES. It is all Here Also Minister molewa can not get a Memorandum of Understanding in place with Mozambique. One was only signed recently as the deadline for Mozambique to make submissions to CITES was due.

 

What did Minister Molewa do at the last CITES Meeting? She was looking for trading partners. Read Here.

 

And what did the Kenyan delagtion think of us.

 

 

 

South Africa spoke about "debate" about trade, the debate was not as open as it was being portrayed. "It is being pushed as if it is the only solution. South Africa says it is putting out feelers, but it is doing so with a biased mind. That is the way it wants to go. There is a danger of increasing demand and stimulating poachers because consumers feel that there will definitely now be selling of rhino horn."

 

See here for full article. Thus, I do not see how you come to the conclusion that our government wants to stop legalizing trade. Our Government's efforts seem to be more focused on legalizing trade than dealing with the root cause of the problem and countering poaching.

 

You also state that there is no need for the rhino to die and horns grow back. Now our rhinos were close to extinction once and we brought them back form the brink thanks to the efforts of Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela. Due to them we got rhinos back in Kruger where they thrived and this was a success story for conservation. The great beast was back in its natural environment and thriving. Then Kruger decided to sell rhinos, both black and white. Rhinos were selected for the size of their horns and sold to the highest bidder and Kruger claimed it is not their responsibilty what happened to the rhino after that. It is a long read but it is all in this document

here. The relevant section to this debate is on page 11 and I quote,

 

 

The sale of rhinoceroses to the “highest bidder” with no responsibility after the sale, all under the guise of so-called “conservation”, is definitely not and ethical way to protect and manage wild animals. On 12 July 2009 the Sunday Independent revealed that SANParks intended selling between 200-350 rhinoceroses from the Kruger National Park, a record figure for any year. Although, according to SANParks they expected to raise between R35 and R50 million from these sales, it is unclear what this money will be used for and it unknown if any of it will be used for rhinoceros protection.

Although initially stating in the media that SANParks would never allow its animals to be hunted it has eventually conceded that it was likely that some of the animals would later be hunted. SANParks also initially said that their sale of rhinoceroses was based on scientific reasons, however their Director of Conservation Services, Dr Hector Magome, admitted during an interview on radio station SAFM that there was no scientific justification for their removal. As a result, despite attempts to link the sale to ‘scientific management’, worrying ethical questions have instead been raised about SANParks’ rhinoceros conservation programme where rhinoceroses from national Parks find themselves as put-and-take animals, traumatised by capture and transportation and made to die in pain on a piece of land far away from where they have been born and abandoned by the very South Africans whose mandate it is to ensure their protection.

One buyer also told the Sunday Independent7 that he dehorned rhinoceroses once they arrived on his farms. He said he was stockpiling the horns so he could sell them if the market was reopened. This also brings into question whether or not SANParks’ recent auction of white rhinoceroses from the Kruger National Park could be contributing to the exploitation of legal trophy hunting by those involved in the rhino horn trade. As previously stated, SANParks does not see a conflict with selling the rhinoceroses to trophy hunters, claiming that the animals are no longer their responsibility after the sale. This unwillingness to monitor the rhinoceroses’ welfare after the sale opens the door to the poaching “loophole”, i.e. once the rhinoceroses are sold on to trophy hunters, as in the case of the Dwesa hunt, “hunting clients” had access to the rhinoceroses - and their horns.8

Now we read that Dr. Hector Mangome, says there is no scientific justification for the removal of rhino and that was back in 2009. Hector is presently suspended for selling more rhinos to hunting outfits. Look here. See who the buyers are

 

Steyn Safaris

Chapungu Safaris

Winterhoek

 

SANParks got a PR nightmare right now because of this but fortunately it has been stopped......for now!

 

You have painted a picture about what you do Albina but I also see this picture of DEAD BLACK RHINO. DEAD. Taken from Kruger beacuse they made good trophies. Never to spread their genes, never will these horns grow back

 

I quote from page 23 of this document:

 

 

The vast majority of these black rhinoceros hunts took place at Mauricedale Game Reserve which is owned Mr John Hume. Hume also bought 72 rhinoceroses at the recent Kruger National Park auctions and, according to newspaper reports, has apparently bought approximately 200 from SANParks in the recent past. At least 10 of the rhinoceroses that were recently sold to Hume died during the translocation process. The fact that SANParks has chosen to sell so many rhinoceroses to one single buyer, particularly given the increase in the illegal killing of rhinoceroses and the stockpiling of horns by private individuals , has also been brought into question by various organisations and individuals. Despite this SANParks defended their action and said “there is nothing wrong with selling a number of rhinos to a single operator”.

 

Here is the link to the Black Rhinos killed at Mauricedale.

 

In Conclusion:

Our rhinos were doing very well in Kruger and were the conservation success story of last four decades. Kruger claims a policy for minimal ineterference but it seems like the lure of money was too graet and they started treating rhinos like chattel. A rhino is a wild animal and Nature looks after itself. If there are two many rhinos then territorial battles will sort it out and the fittest will surivive and the best genes will be carried into future generations. There is no right way to do the wrong thing but if anyone can convince me differently, I am all ears.

 

This is how rhinos are suppose to be and if we had the political will we can have them just like that

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@@Panthera Pardus - do you know the following:

 

1) Do you know if Mauricedale is still owned by the Humes?

2) Do these hunting companies still conduct their hunts on Mauricedale?

3) Do you know if Kruger rhino are still being auctioned off each year - even after the advent of this latest poaching crisis?

4) And are there public records to show who the rhino buyers have been in the last 2-3 years?

 

Wow, I am beyond appalled to hear that Kruger washes its hands off the rhinos once it has sold them. That effectively means that once they enter the private hunting or breeding pool, no outside person will ever know what happened to these poor animals - whether they are killed by dart guns or cross bows or rifles or all those other wonderful implements shown so graphically in your link above. Or whether they will be forced to live out their lives as 'happy rhino' bearing a succession of calves to supply the horn trade - and all this in the name of conservation.

 

It turns my stomach.

 

*******************************************************

In the few minutes that have elapsed since asking the questions above, a simple google search shows all this on page 1:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/a-business-model-to-save-the-black-rhino/2013/03/14/983f3194-8b4d-11e2-9f54-

f3fdd70acad2_story.html

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-09/hunters-paying-150-000-to-kill-an-endangered-rhino-may-save-the-species.html

 

http://africageographic.com/blog/south-africas-trophy-hunt-industry-linked-to-rhino-horn-trafficking-again/

 

So forgive the redundancy of questions 1 and 2 @@Panthera Pardus. Answers already found.

Edited by Sangeeta

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Posted (edited)

"Whilst visiting South Africa in April and May, @dikdik and I were invited to visit John Hume’s farm: John and Albina Hume you’ll know advocate for legal trade, (which means a sustainable supply of harvested horn where the rhino stays alive), and are anti-illegal trade activists, (which results in rhino being killed through poaching for their horns)."

 

Matt, what does that even mean? I understand that the Humes advocate for legal trade, but what is an "anti-illegal trade activist"? Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that no one advocates poaching for horns as the way forward? So poachers are probably the only "pro-illegal trade activists" out there.

 

And does 'legal trade' include horn obtained from hunted animals? The rhino die under this legal scenario. So I don't think it is correct to describe 'sustainable utilization' as a method whereby the rhino stay alive. They may. Or they may not. Depends entirely on how they were 'sustainably utilized'.

Edited by Sangeeta

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http://tourismupdate.co.za/Contents/Editions/2014/September2014/Satsa_2.html

 

Above is an attachment to a debate from the private rhino owners perspective and an anti trade perspective.

 

Here is a problem - lets say that they don't legalise trade, - then private rhino owners will definitely disinfest. They quite simply cannot shoulder the costs any more - as you can see, they can't ask for donor funding. How does that affect the Wild rhino? The moment private owners disinvest be a calamity of note. The effects could cripple efforts to save SAN Parks rhinos.

 

So lets look at what may happen if they legalise trade - firstly, there is no doubt that private rhino owners will benefit, and deservedly so. But not only will they benefit, but their rhinos will benefit. There is no doubt in my mind that legalising the trade will be the best thing for private rhinos and their owners. The real question is if the private rhinos and rhino owners will benefit from legalisation of trade, what about the rhinos in SAN Parks? Having already accepted that private rhinos and their keepers will benefit, then I can't see a reason why the same shouldn't apply to SAN Parks. They will get income from their stockpile in storage, and be able to sell horn from natural deaths, and at the same time rhino prices will increase - so they will achieve a higher price at auctions. Also there will be a number of new speculators investing in rhino and the market will be functional.

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@@Sangeeta - to answer Questions 3 and 4 above.

 

Kruger still sell rhinos but they now hide behind the "we can not reveal the name of the buyer to protect rhinos" which is a load of elephant dung. I asked the questions on the SANParks forum way back in March and April last year (I am Duke Ellieton on that forum). Here and Here

 

A year and a half later, a mate of mind is asking the same questions - read Here. He asked the below questions on 15 August in relation to the latest sales and is still waiting for a reply:

 

1. Was a due diligence carried out of all the buyers of these Rhino prior to concluding the sale/ confirming acceptance of the offer to buy?
2. Will these Rhino ever be made available to hunters?
3. Will the new owners be allowed to trans-locate these Rhinos to other areas?
4. Will the new owners be allowed to re-sell these Rhino to other prospective buyers?
5. Will a proper inventory be kept of these Rhinos and will SANParks have access to these inventories?
6. Will SANParks/DEA have the right to regularly do on site inspection of the Rhinos?
7. Where can the public have access to the conditions of sale/translocation of these Rhinos?
8. Was the sale authorised by the SANParks Board and also where can the public have access to the full set of documentation leading to the approval of these transactions?
9. It was also announced that 250 Rhino be trans-located elsewhere, will what I requested in 1 - 7 above take place?

 

The latest sales included rhinos to a Hunting Outfit called Steyn Safaris

 

Alexander Steyn apparently is involved with pseudo hunts by Vietnamese Nationals and is a mate of Dawie Groenewald who is facing numerous charges for poaching and illegal trading - see here

 

This is in the book, "Killing for Profit" by Julian Rademyer. I have metioned that ZA has two narratives to conservation. There is the good romanticized narrative about King Shaka, Stevenson Hamilton, Ian Player etc. and then there is the atrocious one, some of it covered in this book. I must find time to start that topic. Yes, your stomach will turn Sangeeta.

 

SANParks forgets that it is a parastatal and we the citizens and taxpayers of the country have a right to ask questions. Anyway, we have to resort to asking questions through Parliament and look at the quality of answers we get back.

 

Here. All these sheninigans in North West Province during the time Minister Molewa was Premier of North West Province and she now wants to legalize trade. This is really dismal if we do not even have the name of importer/exporter in many cases or even addresses. Go Figure.

 

Another reply to a Parliament question Here

 

The good news is that we now have three cases lodged with the Public Protector to investigate the mismanagement of our National Parks -

here

 

There is a company called Pathfinder who was doing intelligence work in Kruger and they got fired supposedly because they were getting too close to the truth. listen to this interviwew

 

 

and here is the transcript:

 

Tamara LePine-Williams of Classic FM interviews Nigel Morgan

Nigel Morgan is the chairman of Focus Africa Foundation his job - to stop the killing of rhinos in the Kruger National Park and to this end he has been operating an intelligence team on the ground since march 2013 .
In early June his operation was summarily terminated by the board of SANparks following his company's bust of a chinese triad syndicate on the 23 of May 2014 which was conducted by the hawks after his intelligence team provided them with the relevent information.
No reason was given for Nigel's company's termination, it was rumoured that they got too close to the people operating the trade at the top

Q. Why are we losing the war so roundly
A. I think fundamentally it's a lack of political will, they're not applying their minds to this problem
- there's a lack of strategy
- there's a lack of resources which is strange given the amount of international organisations that are contributing to this, to try to save the rhinos

Q. So where is the money going to ?
A. I've got to tell you, the guys on the ground we don't see much of it.
When we started on our three year contract at KNP, they ran out of money after three months - and we carried on - and we were able to find money from a philanthropic American.
It's not that there is a lack of resources at KNP to fight this war, it's a mystery where the money is going.

Q. Is there somebody who has been getting quite a wad of a salary ?
A. The fundraiser appointed by the board of SANParks earns a salary of R95,000 a month, approx ten times what a senior ranger who is risking his life out there every day gets.
This fellow also got merit awards over a period of June of last year to April this year
Over a period of 11 months this gentleman received a salary of 1.3 million with merits awards added up it comes to 2.8 million rand.

Q. What is his actual job?
A. His job is fundraising from donors and philianthropists.
The month that the Warren Buffet Foundation donated R225 MILLION this guy, coincidentally perhaps, ( March this year) gets 1million into his account, some would say this is vomiting on the feet of the donors.

Q. Are the poachers tactics changing, what’s happening now ?
A. Yes the tactics change, the groups, infiltrating groups will be normally be three to four, there will be a PH, often ex-military, and he'll have support of two probably young mozambicans, one carrying water or food and the other one carrying an axe and increasing as the battle gets more bitter we're seeing a fourth with an AK47, that is not a hunting rifle, that is for killing people!
Huge credit needs to be paid to General Johan Jooste who directs special operations at Kruger National Park and his team of just under 400 rangers.
Those rangers are risking their lives every day to try and keep casualty rates of the rhinos down and they should be the ones getting the money and not the fat cats sitting in the Pretoria head office of SANParks

Q. Who is benefiting from rhino poaching ?
A. The syndicates who are involved, the politicians who are being paid off, the corrupt officials who are also getting their share - but it is not going to go on for long because, unlike the drug war which is infinite, the rhino war is finite

Q. Is a legal trade governable ?
A. I don't see it happening in Africa.
I was involved in the Congo DRC with the Kimberley Process –it ends up as a fig leaf for bad behaviour in the diamond industry and it originates around certificates of origin and these are easily obtained through bribery of govt officials so what it does is legalising the grey and black .
With rhino horn there is such a limited amount of it.
How are you going to meet demand with rhino horn with just this finite supply?
What are they really up to?

Q. There must be some sort of way that people can be uplifted, educated have a life without feeling that they are not as important as these animals ?
A. The govt's just spent R1billion buying Mala Mala worth R97,000 per hectare, I hope that will go back to the community ownership and not into the pockets of fatcats at the top of the govt. someone certainly made enough money out of the deal.
Environmental tourism is a great producer of jobs.
When it comes to the poverty aspect its really over on the Mozambican side.
Focus Africa Foundation will help to raise funds to support President Joaquim Chissano's foundation in Mozambique which is orientating itself towards socially uplifting those areas as a solution.
You got to get the communities to believe that the preservation of wild life is something that is good for them and not something that is only good for rich American or British tourists

Q.Why has Swaziland little or no poaching ?
A. Fifty years ago there was hardly any game left in Swaziland. A Ted Reilly decided that he was going to start conservation off in Swaziland, he had the support of the King and now they have five or six parks .
Its remarkable that in the last ten years they have only lost 3 rhinos and there is an explanation for it .
At the end of the eighties,there was an outbreak of poaching of rhinos, Ted got so upset that he got one of these slaughtered rhinos and took it up to the Kings palace and dumped it on the doorstep. He was inevitably summoned by the King for an explanation and what emerged from that was a meeting of minds and legislation was introduced, draconian legislation some may say, but anybody caught with a firearm in a royal park in Swaziland who doesn't surrender immediately will be shot.
That's quite a message
Legislation is the key…
- there are long sentences,
- there is no parole and
- there is an extra sentence for not replacing the value of the animal that was killed.
Police who loose dockets, which is very common here in South Africa, go to jail for one year.
Prosecutors who fail to prosecute properly, also common here in South Africa, go to gaol for up to a year and the same for magistrates who don't deliver what is considered to be an appropriate sentence.
And this is overseen from the Kings office - there's an officer there who oversees this whole process.
That is the secret.
South Africa could do it - if it wanted to - but it doesn't want to.

Q. What of the people on the receiving end of the rhino horn, Vietnam and China ?
A. I think it can be changed.
I think the SA government should get the Vietnamese ambassador in by the diplomatic scruff of the neck and tell him unless his country gets the message that, about the outrage in this country and globally over the killing of the rhinos they're going to find themselves at the end of international sanctions

Q. Where are we heading ?
A. The picture looks grim.
Unless the SA govt starts waking up to this disaster which is approaching and if it goes down the road of advocating as a solution an international trade in rhino horn it's going to be seriously out of step with the international community.

 

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It says on the Africa geographic blog that as per 8th September the sale rhinos to private concerns have been cancelled including Kalahari Oryx and wintersheok safaris both hunting concerns so some good news at least on what is a very depressing thread.I was so annoyed at the -deep breath-comments on this thread about how keeping rhino's in farns is somehow conserving them, or that legalised trade in hornd will suddenly make everyone behanve, stop poaching and insitute world peace-just as it did for ivory poaching or abilone that I could not sleep-Well Done to @@Panthera Pardus for speaking so eloquently on this thread.

How anyone can dress up rhino farming, including hunts at least in the past, lopping off horns for-either -the good of the rhino's health or to make billions of dollars-who can say!! as saving the rhino is beyond me.

And whilst I am midly weeping into my smallish beard, why the veiled-and sometimes downright comical attacks on NGO's? who are these evil entities?

We are members of the RSPB, john Muir Trust, Wildlife Trusts, League against Cruel sports, and give money to Project Luangwa amongst others.We have even sponsered a penguin home on the Cape.Reading some of the remarks on Safaritalk it feels like we are sponsering international Terrorism and the end of civilasation as we know it!

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Posted (edited)

Answer to Sangeeta, Panthera Pardus and all who are against legalized trade in rhino horn where rhino stays alive. I am anti-illegal trade activist, where rhinos killed for their horns. That is why I support legalized trade in rhino horn, where rhino stays alive because I care for rhino survival. I am pro-rhino: I care more for rhino life than rhino horn BECAUSE horn is renewable product and it grows back!

 

I see no point in going on to more discussions with those who clearly support conditions for illegal trade by opposing legal approach to let supply horn on the market while rhino stays alive, which right now gets supplied only by poaching rhinos. Some of you even involved with those who collect donations on rhino blood, which means you support and sponsor those NGO's who collect donations on 'save rhino' causes AND advocate to keep in place conditions for illegal trade by opposing legalized trade.

It is very simple, if people are against legalized trade they just support to keep in place conditions for illegal trade, where more rhinos get killed every day. There are few categories of people for such attitude- either they benefit from rhino crisis like poachers and those who give orders to poachers or those who collect donations on rhino crisis and fight against legal trade and rhino breeders, because legalized trade would mean suicide for their business; or people who are misinformed by those who collect donations and fight against rhino breeders and legalized trade; or people who simply uneducated on a subject, yet fight against legalized trade on the emotional side. They rather see rhinos extinct than to be saved; those one are unhappy people.

 

In my opinion if you fight legal approach to rhino crisis you are anti- rhino person and pro-illegal trade activist, because no matter how many rhinos poached for the past 5 years, you still support to continue with banning legal trade in rhino horn, which worked very well in South Africa for over 40 years!

 

There is a trade that already exists right now- it is called illegal trade. When you say you are against legal trade, where rhino would stay alive, I can only understand it that you are against conditions where rhino would stay alive!

 

Rhino poaching crisis was designed in South Africa after our government was influenced by animal-rights organizations, which resulted in the change of law on 13 Feb. 2009. Legal trade in rhino horn was banned from privately owned rhinos. Result - over 3200 rhinos poached, most of which are from national parks and tourist resorts. It is very clear how privately owned rhinos saved before rhinos in national parks- the national trade in their horn was enough to keep rhinos alive and let them breed well. But since privately owned rhinos are not allowed to supply horn legally to the market- TRADE gets supplied ILLEGALLY by poachers. So YES, those who influenced the change of law are responsible for creating poaching crisis. because they are the one who collect donations on wildlife crisises. They are responsible for creating conditions and monopoly for poachers and they are the one who fight against private ownership of wild animals in South Africa, especially rhinos.

 

To survive- rhinos need rhino breeders, yet rhino beggars and rhino poachers do everything in their power to fight us. All your donations just make things worse- look every year more and more rhinos poached. It is proved that donations have not made things better for rhinos- just opposite, more rhinos in South Africa poached than ever before!!! You are responsible with your donations to keep crisis in place! If there is a crisis- there is a donations, if no crisis- no donations.

 

During legal trade in rhino horn from privately owned rhinos until it was banned in 2009- South Africa had ZERO NGO's collecting money on wildlife crisis- because there was no crisis! With rhino breeders- no crisis- more rhinos, more rhinos- more rhino breeders, more rhino breeders-more rhinos and very little poaching- until the change of law in 2009.

 

I don't care what for rhino horn is used- it's people's choice! Rhinos also should have a choice- supply of their horns legally where they would stay alive. Right now with current law- rhinos have no choice and that is why time to change the law that kills our rhinos! Look at the numbers of poached rhinos- facts speak loader then your objections: more rhinos will be poached if we continue with the failed measures we've taken until we legalize trade in rhino horn. It is easy to ban legal trade but can we ban illegal trade? The answer is NO.

Answer one simple question before you support anti-legal approach: Does rhino benefit from banning legal trade in rhino horn?

 

Bye everyone.

Edited by Albina Hume
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The demand is so vast at the moment, that legalizing the trade will not decrease the price very much. The majority of rhinos in South Africa are still found in National Parks, thus their horn is not trade-able.

Because of the high demand, and the low supply (legal or illegal) the price will remain high and thus the incentive to poach will remain high.

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I just want to make one more point - Thanks for all the work Panthera Pardus. One must remember that the media has a way of sensationalising everything and can often regurgitate misleading propaganda.

 

However - on the subject of the pseudo hunts. One must remember that they would never have happened if trade was legalised.

 

At the moment much of what is happening is because the trade is illegal, but hunting permits and hunts are tightly controlled. The information on the number of rhino hunted and trophies taken is for public knowledge, and each rhino hunt is overseen by a a government official.

 

The thing is that, had trade been legal, then many of those hunts wouldn't even have taken place. Even old Rhino bulls will have a value alive.

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The demand is so vast at the moment, that legalizing the trade will not decrease the price very much. The majority of rhinos in South Africa are still found in National Parks, thus their horn is not trade-able.

Because of the high demand, and the low supply (legal or illegal) the price will remain high and thus the incentive to poach will remain high.

 

There is no intention to "flood" the market - its a sustained controlled supply, and its well within South Africas ability to meet the demand.

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At the risk of sounding like a simpleton - IF a legal trade in rhino horn is allowed, how will it be possible to differentiate between legal and illegally obtained rhino horn?

 

If, as everyone says rhino horn is nothing more than keratin, and is used in powder form, how can you prove its legal provenance?

With the value being so high, and forgers being able to reproduce just about anything, forging a certificate would be no obstacle.

And, there will still be a market - a growing market - of people who will buy from wherever they can get it.

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Right now,under current law, demand for rhino horn is supplied by ONLY poaching rhinos. Illegal trade in rhino horn costs rhino a life. Such trade has monopoly, which no one can stop. We won't lose more with legal trade,where rhino would stay alive. We had legal trade in rhino horn since 70's and the results are excellent until it has been banned in 2009. I still wonder why legal trade in rhino horn has been banned in South Africa???

With 5000 rhinos in private ownership it is possible to give a huge competition to poachers and let demand been supplied by horn where rhino stays alive. After all, there is a demand for rhino horn, not rhino life. International legal trade in rhino horn is the only tool which still hasn't been used in curbing rhino poaching crisis.

Time to make revolutionary step and give a rhino cup of life.

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I just want to make one more point - Thanks for all the work Panthera Pardus. One must remember that the media has a way of sensationalising everything and can often regurgitate misleading propaganda.

 

Sure the media can do this. I try to get my information from as many sources as I can and then form an opinion. Our opinions are based on the information at hand and our experiences and I have first hand experience as a Honorary Ranger and a Moderator on the SANParks Forum. However, at the end of the day, it is just an opinion and it is not cast in stone.

 

However - on the subject of the pseudo hunts. One must remember that they would never have happened if trade was legalised.

 

At the moment much of what is happening is because the trade is illegal, but hunting permits and hunts are tightly controlled. The information on the number of rhino hunted and trophies taken is for public knowledge, and each rhino hunt is overseen by a a government official.

 

No they not @. Have you read the book by Julian Rademeyer? (se pages 99-105 of that book).He talks about the officials who are present at the hunt being on the take, about forged permits, about reuse of a permit, etc.

 

The thing is that, had trade been legal, then many of those hunts wouldn't even have taken place. Even old Rhino bulls will have a value alive.

 

You mentioned the other day that we were not allowed to smoke in school but we did in the toilets - yep, good old days. Trade in cigarettes is legal yet we have an illegal trade. Forget all the ethical and moral arguments. Do you really believe that we can control trade? We have had two Police Commissioners separated from their jobs for wrong doing, We have had the Interpol Offices in Pretoria broken into 5 times in 3 weeks - Here. We have a Pres that has spent millions of taxpayers money on his personl home and so far with impunity. We refuse a visa to the Dalai Lama, this is the third time it is happening. We have airplanes of private individuals landing at a military air base and nothing happens. We have cops that hire out their uniforms and cars so that we get stopped at road blocks to be hijacked. Need i go on?

 

We have lost our moral compass @ and we will not be able to control trade. Not right now.

 

 

If you want a debate on whether to legalize or not why are you all hush about the panel of experts, perhaps beacuse they are all pro trade - here

 

Debunking the pro trade propanganda - Here

 

Legalising the trade in rhino horn and a wilderness of greed - here

To answer another question you asked - No it is not a sin to make money

Edited by Panthera Pardus

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At the risk of sounding like a simpleton - IF a legal trade in rhino horn is allowed, how will it be possible to differentiate between legal and illegally obtained rhino horn?

 

If, as everyone says rhino horn is nothing more than keratin, and is used in powder form, how can you prove its legal provenance?

With the value being so high, and forgers being able to reproduce just about anything, forging a certificate would be no obstacle.

And, there will still be a market - a growing market - of people who will buy from wherever they can get it.

 

It is a good question.

 

It is clear that making the trade illegal has not stopped people. There will always be a criminal element that will try and get involved. No-one is ignorant enough to assume that legal trade will stop poaching outright. What is will do is provide a legal alternative through which the demand cam be met. By doing so the funds will allow for better protection of the rhino, and SAN Parks will also benefit by being able to sell stockpiles and use the funds for anti-poaching.

 

Also once the buyers have been established there is a way to follow the products.

Edited by dikdik

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@@Panthera Pardus sadly you keep quoting the same culprits. The heavily biased Animal Rights people who have been sensationalising the issue for ever. In fact they are so set in their way that even if it could be proved 100% that rhinos could be saved by legal trade their egos and fundamental ideology. They have been fear mongering and ranting along with harvesting donor funds for a number of years, while the panel of experts were looking into genuine ways to save the rhino.

 

BTW, the story about the rhinos sent to "hunting" farms is another example of how these people can get in the way of a good idea. Its sensational writing and designed to sell newspapers. what about the truth...

 

The animals were sold to a number of farmers whose farms were audited and cleared before the process. The idea was to create a safe haven for these rhino to save them from the onslaught they face in Kruger. The people they selected showed that they offered the highest standard of protection, but the fact that this plan has been exposed has jeopardised the safety of these rhinos, as the locations are no longer secret. Sadder still, some of those farmers will have to move their rhino as their locations are no longer secret. So perhaps the irresponsible reporting has put a bigger spanner in the works that we think. Remember that there are two sides to the story - the emotional one sells newspapers, and often further from the truth.

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And about the corruption.. Lets say that we need to build a school or a hospital.... The need to build this is clear cut and definite. Now we know that there may be some corruption in the tender and some corrupt builder. Does that mean that we should can the idea of building a school or hospital?

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