The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has recorded a total of 28 rhinos poached since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, no case of elephant poaching was recorded.

In a press statement issued on Monday, MEFT spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said 19 of the rhinos were poached in the Etosha National Park of which 10 were discovered during dehorning operations throughout March.

Muyunda, also confirmed recent reports of four white rhino poached on a private farm in the Otjozondjupa Region, bringing the total number of rhinos poached on private farms in the country to five, for the year.

Muyunda said three rhinos were poached at rhino custodianship farms, and one in the Kunene Region bringing the overall total to 28 for the year – consisting of 19 black and nine white rhinos.

‘Poaching in Etosha is particularly concerning because this is our flagship park, having a high concentration of rhino conservation and other high-value species making it a major attraction for tourists,’ he said.

He add
ed that based on the current situation and the urgency, an assessment is being undertaken in Etosha to establish the full extent of the problem.

The ministry, he said remains committed to fighting poaching at all costs to ensure it achieves its obligation of protecting the country’s wildlife to benefit the current and future generations of Namibia.

Muyunda further said that to strengthen interventions and sharpen its strategies moving forward, MEFT has called for an urgent high-level meeting with the security clusters to dissect the matter.

He also called on all stakeholders including members of the public to ‘summon their conscience and patriotism’ and join the ministry in this difficult fight against the poaching of high-value species.

He said no arrests were made in the recent cases so far, but cases were opened and investigations continue.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

News Reporter