Increasingly, illegal hunting in Kwa-Zulu Natal accelerates. Alarmingly, poachers with hunting dogs slaughter game and, reportedly, intimidate Wildlife rangers. Sadly, a report in News24.com featured a photograph showing slaughtered juvenile eland. Moreover, the animals on display possibly include a cheetah, an animal environmentalists work hard to protect.
KwaZulu-Natal Poaching raises concerns
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 lockdown increases hardship and hunger in South Africa. Additionally, poaching is perceived to be linked to poverty. However, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) now takes a stand. Importantly, IFP’s spokesperson for provincial community safety, Blessed Gwala expresses alarm over the increase, particularly in the area surrounding Nkandla. Normally, hunting with dogs is seasonal thereby observing conservation norms.
Alarmingly, Gwala notes the current levels of hunting is unusual as well as illegal. Furthermore, he appeals to the authorities to “intervene” no matter their “status in the local community.” Meanwhile, the spokesperson for KZN Ezemvelo, Musa Mntambo acknowledges the problem is widespread both within and without both governments and private reserves. However, he is quick to assure that the KwaZulu-Natal wildlife rangers are up to the task of investigating the problem.
The IFP has called on traditional leaders in northern KwaZulu-Natal to stand up against illegal hunters following a spike in the killings of wildlife in Nkandla and other surrounding areas. | @WitnessKZN https://t.co/54bVjGwmPY
— News24 (@News24) December 4, 2020
Seven white rhino recently killed in KZN
Recently, KZN parks lost seven white rhino over a few weeks to poachers. Importantly, whilst poaching for food is one thing, poaching rhino is a different level of greed. Moreover, DA’s spokesperson for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, Heinz de Boer expresses his concern over the lack of equipment on hand for the KZN rangers.
Technically, the rangers in KwaZulu Natal wage a full-on war and are poorly equipped for it. Evidently, the war against poaching requires more money. Recently, tough sentencing in South Africa received kudos. Nevertheless, the under-funded war continues raging on.
— Dereck Joubert (@dereckbeverly) November 29, 2020
Relentless poaching – apathetic response
Sadly, not even the recent tough sentencing is a deterrent. Additionally, a shootout between rangers and poachers occurred today, 4th December in Limpopo in a sanctuary near Kruger Park.
— Sue Spurgin (@SueSpurgin) December 4, 2020
Understandably, in cash-strapped South Africa, the environment takes a hit. Unfortunately, wildlife is in a crisis that cannot await better governance. Moreover, citizens are fatigued as evidenced by relatively few social media shares on poaching. Sadly, COVID-19 adds to the financial impact on citizens and tourists. Meanwhile, poachers continue to reap profits in KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere.
What do you think could be done to help protect our wildlife in KwaZulu-Natal and other National Parks? Should the government consider following the success story of COMACO in Zambia? Sound off in the comments below.
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