Published On: Tue, Sep 4th, 2018

Botswana: Six rhinos killed by poachers since January

At least six rhinos have been killed by poachers in Botswana since the beginning of this year, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) has confirmed.

The revelation comes as police scramble for clues leading to the arrest of poachers who killed a white rhino in the Okavango Delta of the Ngamiland region a week ago.

DWNP Ngamiland head Timothy Blackbeard told regional weekly newspaper The Ngami Times that rhino poaching has risen dramatically when compared to the past 5 years.

Since the start of 2018, 4 rhinos have been killed in the south-western Ghanzi district, 1 in the Tuli Block area and 1 in the NG-23 conservation of the Okavango Delta.

The 2018 statistics mark an upsurge from just two rhinos killed between 2013 and 2017. Blackbeard said a new breed of poachers were beating security patrols by taking advantage of flooding in the Okavango Delta to navigate the swamps in dug-out canoes.

“Poachers use dug-out canoes and horses to reach the flooded areas, and we are currently facing a shortage of vehicles and specialized equipment to get there,” Blackbeard said.

The DPNW has since offered a reward of P25 000 (US$ 2 500) for information leading to the arrest of the poachers. No arrests have been made in connection with three rhino killings of 2013 and 2016.

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About the Author

- I am a Zimbabwean journalist with 18 years experience working in print broadcast and online media. From Gaborone in Botswana, I cover the African continent for South African-media organisations Defence Web and Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism. I am also a correspondent for African Aerospace (UK), the Botswana Gazette and The Zimbabwe Standard.

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