Brutal attack on rhino orphanage: 2 rhinos babies were killed for their horns
This week a horrible incident occurred at Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage (South Africa) which was supported financially by FOUR PAWS in 2013 and 2014: While taking the volunteer caregivers hostage, a heavily-armed poaching syndicate mutilated the two 18 months old rhinos Impi and Gugu and removed their horns. Gugu died outright. Impi had to be euthanized the following day because of the severity of her injuries. We are deeply shocked and call on the South African government to forbid the export of Rhino horn and withdraw draft regulations released this week.
Will there be a future for 80% of Africa’s rhino population located in South Africa?
Thula Thula was created in 2014 with support of FOUR PAWS and the Fundimvelo Community Trust. Ever since then, it offered refuge for baby rhinos who have lost their mothers to poachers. South Africa is home to almost 80% of Africa’s rhinos, whose fate hangs in the balance whilst the South African government hesitates to release rhino poaching statistics and rhino owners have to react as if in a war zone, continually sharpening efforts to protect their animals from poachers. This brutal attack on an orphanage shows once again that rhino poachers won’t stop at nothing.
“We condemn this horrific incident, and demand that Rhinos are offered the highest protection by the South African government by adopting a zero tolerance policy for poaching and retracting the draft regulations published this week proposing legal domestic trade. We strongly oppose the draft regulations, and urge the government to instead draft new regulations forbidding all export of rhinoceros horn”, says FOUR PAWS South Africa country director Fiona Miles.
© Thula Thula
Rhino horns for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The main threat to rhinos is illegal hunting for the rhino horn trade mainly to Asian markets for the use in traditional Chinese medicine and to a lesser extent as status symbols or for ornamental use. Between 2006 and 2015 more than 5000 rhinos were poached in South Africa with about 1200 animals killed annually in 2014 and 2015. On the black market the price for one kilo of rhino horn can be up to 60,000 US-Dollars which strongly drives poaching and illegal trade.
Rhino poaching is not the only cruelty wild animals face in South Africa. An excess of the strongly growing wildlife industry is the breeding of lions for commercial purposes. In South Africa approximately 8000 lions await a terrible fate being shot at canned hunts with their bones being legally exported to Asia for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine feeding the same markets that trigger the massive rhino poaching with insatiable greed for horn.