Video of dying rhino shows desperation of SA’s poached animals

A YouTube video of a dying rhino lying in the Kruger National Park is the latest in a series of videos about the plight of local animals to find its way on to the internet.

It depicts a bleeding rhino with its horns hacked off, still alive and struggling to breathe. The man who posted it, who lists himself as an ex-ranger, said the rhino had to be euthanised because of the pain it was in.

The video comes at a time when the environmental affairs department released figures showing 249 rhino had been poached so far this year. 

Last year, a record 668 were poached, mainly in the Kruger National Park. They are smuggled to Asia where their horns are believed to have medicinal value. This myth has driven the huge growth in poaching over the last six years.

The government and private companies have pumped funds into conserving rhino, and the army has also been on anti-poaching missions in Kruger. But conservationists project as many as 800 rhino could still be killed this year.

Edna Molewa, the minister of environmental affairs, recently signed memorandums of understanding with the Chinese and Vietnamese governments on biodiversity issues. Stopping rhino poaching and trade was a key part of these.

She also said her department was considering rebuilding the fence that used to run between South Africa and Mozambique in the Kruger National Park. This would help stop poachers and animals moving between the two, she said.

A total of 78 people have been arrested this year on allegations of being involved in poaching.

And at the same time there have been growing concerns that the park's elephant population, which has escaped the continental poaching of elephants, will be the next target for poachers.

WARNING: This video contains graphic images of a dying rhino.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Sipho Kings
Sipho Kings is a former acting editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

London’s changed – including the climate

The local shops have been replaced by chain stores, the skyline has new features, the digital age stops communication and the green parks are dry and brown

To fix Man United, Ten Hag must brainwash his stars

Top coaches are either psychologists or cult leaders; Maguire & company need the latter, writes Carlos Amato

Angola’s elections a close contest between Unita and ruling MPLA

In its poll, Angobarometro put Unita’s leader, Adalberto Costa Júnior, far ahead of MPLA leader João Lourenço while Afrobarometer put MPLA slightly ahead of Unita.

Four ways to help South Africa’s young people find jobs...

We need to move away from imposing ‘solutions’ on young people to seeing them as active partners

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…