Botswana probes mysterious killing of rhinos

from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE – BOTSWANA’S Ministry of Environment and Tourism is investigating the fatal shooting of rhinos at a sanctuary in the central part of the country.

Two animals died following the shooting while others were injured at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Poaching has initially been ruled out as the ministry confirmed that two carcasses were found with their horns intact.

“The investigation on the matter is ongoing,” said Thato Raphaka, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

The ministry’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) is handling the probe.

“The Ministry is working with other law enforcement agencies to establish motives behind the shootings so that appropriate actions are taken against perpetrators,” Raphaka said.

“Furthermore, the Ministry expresses its gratitude to the public for their continued support and urges them to report any wildlife crimes with the DWNP or other law enforcement agencies,” he added.

Rhino poaching is rife in Botswana.

Wildlife officials are quoted as saying the Southern African country lost 138 of the animals to poaching and 76 to “natural causes” in the past five years.

Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a community based wildlife project, was established in 1992 to assist in saving the rhino, restore the historic wildlife populations and provide economic benefits through tourism.

It covers about 8 585 hectares.

– CAJ News

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