Botswana raises alarm over increased rhino poaching

Botswana is concerned about the increasing poaching in its nature reserves. “Poachers of rhinoceroses now seem to be focusing their attention on Botswana,” says national park coordinator Mmadi Reuben. Botswana has long been considered a safe country for rhinoceroses because of its strict controls on poaching.

Botswana has lost nine rhinos to poachers since April, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment. The Botswana authorities fear that this will only increase.

According to Rhino Conservations Botswana, there are about 400 rhinos in the country. The state has spent a lot of money on animal welfare, and rhinos from other countries have already been brought to Botswana because of strict controls on poaching. The country has so far been considered safe, especially for black rhinos threatened with extinction.

The trade-in rhinoceroses have been banned at the international level for about four decades. But the poachers remain active there because they can get it on the black market for about 30,000 euros per kilogram of horn keratin. In China and Vietnam, there is a superstition that horns are an aphrodisiac and have healing powers.

There are an estimated 25,000 rhinos in Africa. As a result of increased efforts to combat poaching, the number of rhinoceroses killed fell by a quarter in 2018 to 769 compared to the previous year.

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