Otjiwa rhino was not poached – MET

Windhoek-Following a widespread public outcry over the rhino cow killed at Otjiwa game reserve in Otjiwarongo district last week the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has said the pachyderm was killed in a fight most likely with another beast.

The ministry is however stunned as to why the owner of the farm, WP Barnard, alleged the rhino cow was shot and killed by poachers, while in actual fact it had its horn intact and it was obvious it was killed in a fight with another rhino.

The farm personnel were even pictured mourning the alleged shooting of the rhino cow.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda, said an investigation last Wednesday indicated there was no evidence that the specific rhino was poached.

According to him, the carcass has a wound that could be a result of fighting with another rhino. The horns of the rhino were intact at the time it was discovered and further investigations continue.

Our officials together with members of the protected resources unit of the Namibian Police Force scanned the carcass for ballistic evidence but no signs of foul play could be detected, he maintained.

The farm owner Barnard on Monday was quoted saying a rhino cow was found dead at the game farm south of Otjiwarongo.

The owner also said the white rhino cow, named Maria, was apparently found dead with a gunshot wound to her neck.

This reporter could not get hold of the farm owner for comment by the time of going to press.

However, New Era has reliably been informed that the owner has since restricted the farm workers from talking to outsiders, including the media, in his absence.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia