Rhino poachers hit Pilanesberg National Park | Black Rhino Killed

An endangered Black Rhino was poached in the Pilanesberg National Park on Wednesday 1o March, the first rhino to be poached in this Park in its 31 year history. The 26 year old female, known as Suzi, was shot 4 times, one of the shots in the front leg “knee” joint probably to prevent her from running away or attacking, before both horns were removed by pangas.

Suzi (left) in September 2009, with her 2 year old calf. (Image courtesy of North West Parks and Tourism Board)

Two holes were found in the boundary fence in a remote area of the park. Park management immediately called in a helicopter to search the area to see if the breaches in the fence were linked to rhino poaching, when the carcass of Suzi was spotted from the air. The gang had walked through the bush until finding Suzi where she was shot and her horns were removed. A full forensic investigation was carried out at the scene by the South African Police Services and spent cartridges, as well as other evidence, was found.

Suzi was killed and both horns were removed. The “knee” bullet wound is clearly visible. (Image courtesy of North West Parks and Tourism Board)

The rhino populations in South Africa are currently under severe attack from ruthless gangs for their horns, with over 35 rhinos, mostly white rhino, having been poached already in 2010. Whilst the method used in the Pilanesberg incident was walking and shooting, more sophisticated methods are also being used such as helicopters, drugs and darts. It is extremely difficult to protect rhinos under these circumstances.

The Black rhino is an endangered species and the loss of one, particularly an experienced breeding female, is a great loss to the conservation efforts of the species.

Park Manager Mr Mike Crowther is extremely disappointed and concerned. Despite extra vigilance by all staff, Pilanesberg has become another poaching statistic. There is nothing more distressing for a conservationist than finding a dead rhino with horns removed.

How can YOU Help?

The Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust is making an effort to raise money for anti poaching equipment and support via donations from the general public in South Africa and abroad. The Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust is an an independantly run fund, allowing all moneys raised to be used for the project that it is donated to in support of the Pilanesberg National Park.

If you would like to make a donation, no matter how small, please click here and you will be redirected to the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust’s debit order page.

Banking Details

Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust
FNB, cheque account
Branch: 260246 – Mogwase
Account: 62031121255

Moya Wa Tenga Safaris, a strong supporter of the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust has donated R 750.00 towards this valid cause and urges all conservation minded individuals to do the same!

For more information on donations, please contact:

Andrew Jackson
CEO: Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust
Tel: + 27 (0)14 555 1622

Postal Address:
P O Box 1201
Mogwase
0314
North West Province
South Africa


 

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4 Responses to “Rhino poachers hit Pilanesberg National Park | Black Rhino Killed”

  1. Rhino April 16, 2010 5:52 pm
    #

    Poor thing. Wish I could help more….

  2. kevin bewick August 6, 2010 11:34 am
    #

    worked as a trail ranger at pilanesberg,lived in a camp in the park,this is so tragic.spent many hours on foot observing the black and white rhino.

  3. Andrew Beck August 10, 2010 12:15 pm
    #

    HI Kevin, Thanks for your comments.

    It really is a terrible situation. I have heard today that the remains of 3 more white rhino were found in Pilanesberg over this past weekend. The guys are completing forensic audits on the carcasses in the hopes of picking up any leads which might lead to the apprehension of the people responsible.

    I will endeavour to keep you all updated on the situation…

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