Seven rhino carcasses found in Etosha

28 June 2017 | Crime

Seven rhino carcasses of which several have already been confirmed to be poached, were discovered in the Etosha National Park this past weekend during routine patrols by officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda yesterday confirmed to Namibian Sun that during patrols in the park between 23 and 25 June seven rhino carcasses were discovered. “The carcasses are all believed to be for this year.”

According to Muyunda, the ministry is busy with an assessment to establish the exact cause of death of the rhino and have already completed the assessment of three rhino carcasses. This indicated that two rhinos were poached and one died of natural causes. “We are continuing with the assessment to establish the cause of death for the rest of the carcasses and we will release the results of the assessment through our normal communication channels with the media,” said Muyunda.

According to him no arrests have been made yet and investigations are still on-going.

He stressed that poaching remains a big concern and tackling it remains priority for the ministry. In this regard the ministry will do anything possible within the framework of the laws and policies to bring poaching under control as it robs the nation of valuable resources, said Muyunda.

This is the first confirmed poaching of rhino in Etosha this year. The environment minister, Pohamba Shifeta, just last week boasted about the progress that has been made with regards to anti-poaching activities in the park and that there has been no rhino poaching in the park.

Muyunda said official figures on rhino poaching in Namibia would be released today.

In May this year it was reported that eight rhinos were already poached. Altogether 59 rhinos in the country were poached last year and 95 rhinos in 2015, 56 in 2014 and 9 in 2013.

ELLANIE SMIT

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