Game rangers on alert for rhino poaching

WINDHOEK; The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) says it has ordered its game rangers to be on alert for rhino poaching in a bid to stop the hunt for these animals’ horns.

Environment and Tourism Minister Uahekua Herunga told Nampa on Thursday that rhino poaching in Namibia has become disturbing.

“The MET is concerned about the increase in rhino poaching. We have called on our game rangers to remain vigilant to poachers,” he stated.

To date, rhino poaching in Namibia remains the lowest in the world because it is closely monitored and scrutinised here.

His comments follow several cases of rhino poaching reported in a short space of time in Namibia.

In the latest incident, two cases of rhino poaching were reported on a farm just outside the capital on Tuesday, following the discovery of the carcasses of two white rhinos with their horns sawn off at the Ongos farm, just west of the capital.

As of Thursday morning, no arrests have been made yet, and investigations continue.

In another incident, three Chinese men made another court appearance here on Wednesday for allegedly trying to smuggle 14 rhino horns out of Namibia.

The men were arrested at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on 24 March this year after their luggage was searched as they were about to board a plane to South Africa en route to Hong Kong.

Last month, a Chinese national was also arrested at Opuwo in the Kunene Region for being possession of rhino horns.

As the demand for rhino horns in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries increases, poaching rates in southern Africa have soared sky-high.