Crisis: Zimbabwe Update: March 30, 2009

Poachers Target Black Rhino Mother After Killing Her Calf

The sixteen-month-old calf of Sinikwe was killed by poachers on the 16th of February.

The sixteen-month-old calf of Sinikwe was killed by poachers on the 16th of February.

The sixteen-month-old calf of Sinikwe was killed by poachers on the 16th of February. Sinikwe, the mother, was also shot by the poachers but not fatally. The Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) is monitoring her and hopes to move her to a safer area soon, but poachers are monitoring her too. The bond between cow and calf is quite strong, and Sinikwe returns to the calf’s carcass regularly. The poachers know this and are also returning to the carcass, where they try to track Sinikwe, in the hope of shooting her again. During the first week of March, the LRT monitoring unit and the Bubye Valley Conservancy anti-poaching team tracked these poachers for 4 out of 6 days. When they finally tracked them down, the poachers shot at the rhino monitors. Fortunately, none of the rhino monitors or rangers were harmed in this armed confrontation. Unfortunately, the poachers escaped, but it seems being shot at themselves has deterred them and they have not been seen since.

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