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SOUTH AFRICA: MORE THAN 30 RHINOCEROS SOLD TO RICH BIG-GAME HUNTERS AT A GAME RESERVE AUCTION

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INTRO: More than 30 rhinoceros have been sold to rich big-game hunters at a game reserve auction in South Africa, in a bid to conserve the rare species. ----------------------------------------------------------- South Africa is the only country in the world where you can legally go out and shoot the highly-prized rhinoceros, a species reduced to just 11,500 members worldwide. At an auction at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game park, amid the vast rolling bush country of northern KwaZulu-Natal province, bidders paid a total of more than 2 million United States dollars for the highly-prized rhinos. Several of the bidders were big-game hunters, who bought the animals to kill them. More than a hundred other rhinos, including six black rhinos, were sold to game parks for breeding projects and reserves, where visitors pay well to see the rare creatures. Conservationists in South Africa justify the sale of rhinos for hunting purposes as the money raised provides a significant contribution to conservation efforts. South Africa is home to 63 percent of the world's total rhino population and the fact that numbers are actually rising is also seen as ample vindication of the methods used. In some neighbouring countries, poachers machinegun rhinos in the wild and chainsaw their horns off for sale as traditional medicine in the Far East or dagger handles in the Middle East. "We have seen 850 rhino legally shot in this country and they bring in an enormous amount of money....we are the only country in the world where you can legally hunt a rhino," said Natal Parks Board Chief Executive Geoff Hughes. The rhino had been caught in the last couple of months. As no vehicles are allowed into many parts of the game reserve, helicopters are used. Once darted, a blood sample is taken to test the health of the animal, and an electronic chip with the animal's details is inserted in the horn.

dc:identifier
043-00039609
dc:source
Reuters News
dc:title
SOUTH AFRICA: MORE THAN 30 RHINOCEROS SOLD TO RICH BIG-GAME HUNTERS AT A GAME RESERVE AUCTION
dc:type
MovingImage
mhub:credit
Reuters
dc:description
INTRO: More than 30 rhinoceros have been sold to rich big-game hunters at a game reserve auction in South Africa, in a bid to conserve the rare species. ----------------------------------------------------------- South Africa is the only country in the world where you can legally go out and shoot the highly-prized rhinoceros, a species reduced to just 11,500 members worldwide. At an auction at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game park, amid the vast rolling bush country of northern KwaZulu-Natal province, bidders paid a total of more than 2 million United States dollars for the highly-prized rhinos. Several of the bidders were big-game hunters, who bought the animals to kill them. More than a hundred other rhinos, including six black rhinos, were sold to game parks for breeding projects and reserves, where visitors pay well to see the rare creatures. Conservationists in South Africa justify the sale of rhinos for hunting purposes as the money raised provides a significant contribution to conservation efforts. South Africa is home to 63 percent of the world's total rhino population and the fact that numbers are actually rising is also seen as ample vindication of the methods used. In some neighbouring countries, poachers machinegun rhinos in the wild and chainsaw their horns off for sale as traditional medicine in the Far East or dagger handles in the Middle East. "We have seen 850 rhino legally shot in this country and they bring in an enormous amount of money....we are the only country in the world where you can legally hunt a rhino," said Natal Parks Board Chief Executive Geoff Hughes. The rhino had been caught in the last couple of months. As no vehicles are allowed into many parts of the game reserve, helicopters are used. Once darted, a blood sample is taken to test the health of the animal, and an electronic chip with the animal's details is inserted in the horn.
dc:subject
environmental issue
human interest
mhub:temporal-coverage
1996-06-23