RHINO poachers killed a female rhino and cut off its horn at Fort D’Acre Reserve last week.
Fort D’Acre owner Rory Gailey said he and his staff were devastated by the “senseless slaughter”.
They found the dead rhino on the morning of May 22. It had last been seen alive two days earlier.
“In order to continue with the dedicated breeding program, we have taken the difficult decision to dehorn all the remaining rhino,” Gailey said. “Our permit has been granted. Our hopes are that this will deter any further loss.”
Gailey thanked wildlife veterinarian Dr William Fowlds and his team of vets, as well as the team of forensics investigators and SAPS Anti-Poaching unit.
“These dedicated folk, that are dealing with this devastation all too often, are faultless and very supportive, and we cannot thank them enough. We hope that all their hard work goes into finding the culprits and ends in a successful prosecution,” Gailey said.
Other game reserves in the Ndlambe area have been hit by poachers in recent years, and a number of rhino killed. Aside from dehorning, other intervention tactics include special tracking collars for rhinos and trained anti-poaching dogs.
Another deterrent to poachers has been to chemically treat the horn with a substance that is harmless to the animal but makes it virtually impossible to smuggle and sell on the black market.