iSimangaliso Wetland Park De Horning Rhino's
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is continuing with it's strategy in anti poaching. One of it's primary strategy's is to De Horn all of its existing Rhino's. The park was proclaimed as a world heritage site in 1999 by Unesco. The park covers a area of 3280 square kilometers or 239,566 hectares.
This park a important park for refuge Rhino's offers an ideal habitat. The park consists of the Western, Eastern Shores and also includes the uMkuze Game Reserve, one of the oldest sanctuaries for Rhino's. Relocation of Rhino's from uMkhuze took place in 2004 into both the Western and Eastern shores and a further mass relocation of Rhino's took place in 2016 during one of the largest droughts in the area.
In 2015 the authorities (iSimangaliso) embarked on their initial De Horning of Rhino's, due to the relentless illegal hunting and poaching within the park. The De Horning programme was started in the Western Shores. Additionally this programme was repeated last year to remove the regrowth of the Horns.
To date this De Horning strategy has now been implemented in the Eastern Shores as well.
7638 Rhino's poached in South Africa To Date.
Fewer than 20 000 White Rhino's and 2000 Black Rhino's remain in the country.
1028 Rhino's poached in 2017
1054 Rhino's poached in 2016
De Horned White Rhino Upclose
Visiting the iSimangaliso Wetland Park remains an incredible journey, the abundance of wildlife and scenery is truly remarkable. While out on safari we where fortunate enough to come across this White Rhino that had been De Horned. What a pleasure it was to have such a splendid sighting.
De Horning Rhino's the Pros & Cons
Rhino's all over the country are currently being De Horned. In an attempt to curb Poaching.
So far De Horning of Rhino's seems to be curbing poaching, however Keratin (Rhino Horn make up) grows back quickly. Therefore De Horning is a preventative measure and must be done regularly. Veterinarians need to be specialized, and the process is considerably costly.
Rhino's utilize their horns for territorial defence, dominance and assisting in foraging. Protection from predators for their young, courtship and even possibly mate selection. Knock on affects could be staggering. One that we are still to realize.
Game Capture & Relocation
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, is diverse unspoilt and offers incredible wildlife opportunities. With the St Lucia Estuary splitting the two parks on either side one has some impressive exploring to do. The park is regularly renewing and updating hides, loop roads and picnic areas. St Lucia is the ideal town to base oneself in when visiting, don't be alarmed should you too come across Hippos walking about in the streets at night. This almost nightly occurrence has become infamous in the area.