Poachers attack rhino orphanage‚ kill and take volunteer hostage

Heavily-armed poachers attacked the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in northern KwaZulu-Natal this week‚ taking a volunteer hostage.

The poachers mutilated two 18-month-old rhinos — Impi and Gugu – when they removed the horns‚ said the international animal welfare organisation Four Paws‚ which supports the orphanage.

Gugu died and Impi was euthanised the next day because of the severity of her injuries.

Fiona Miles‚ the country director at Four Paws South Africa said: “Our immediate thoughts are with the whole Thula Thula team.”

The country is home to almost 80 % of Africa’s rhinos and the population is under threat from poaching.

Miles said the government should adopt a zero tolerance policy for poaching and retract the draft regulations published this week proposing legal domestic trade.

“The proposed regulations lay the basis for a legal domestic trade in rhino horn that would allow foreigners‚ including those from major rhino horn consuming countries‚ to travel to South Africa‚ buy horn and export it for ‘personal’ purposes back to their home countries‚” Fiona Miles concluded.


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