On the 29th of August 2011, we received a phone call from the Captain of the Hoedspruit SAPS Captain Heinieker. He explained to us that there was a rhino carcass found around the Hoedspruit area. Vincent Barkas and I immediatly got into the vehicle with all the equipment and responded to the site of the poaching incident.
There we found a old rhino bull lying on its side with both horns maliciously removed. By the looks of things the rhino had been shot on the right hand side of its head, with the bullet entering at a downward angle. on further inspection of the scene we found a two open wounds on the rhino's back, the wounds seem to have been cause by a axe. The reason for this could have been to hack through the animals spinal column, sever through its central nervous system rendering the animal immobile.
Once the crime scene investigating authorities had taking all the information that they needed such as photographs, tracking of spoor and looking for a cartridge. Vincent Barkas and I were left to begin the Autopsy on the animal. We used the metal detector to find out if there was a projectile inside the animal or not. On the first attempt with the metal detector we received a strong signal around the animals head. After a few minutes of searching we found the projectile. We then determined that it was was a large projectile, which means that a hunting rifle with that calibre was used to shoot the animal. The projectile was handed over to the SAPS and the investigation was complete. The savage killing of our rhino's in South africa continues and the total for the year is working its way up to the 300 mark!!!
Second time in a week that our team is called to check on a rhino carcass!
The first thing that surprised us when we arrived was the position of the rhino. The animal was lying down with its front legs under its chest, it was as if it was sleeping.
It was a average day, I was at my parents office when my dad asked me if I wanted to go and see the black rhino that was snared. We went on a long long drive to see my first snared rhino and my first black rhino that I have ever seen, and it just had to be dead.
Three days ago, on June 20th, our team was called to check the carcass of a big rhino cow recently killed, and to rescue her calf and a young cow that had been wounded.
The first thing we did was to send some people of our unit on foot to look for the 3months old calf of this cow, and an other young cow of 2 years old that had been shot in her back leg.
Rights for Rhinos
Paul Jennings, Sboniso Phakathi and Dr. Ian Player
Protrack Anti-poaching Unit are sponsering the Rhights for Rhinos in an effort to raise awareness to the severe problem South Africa is up againts in this "Rhino War". Our represenative, Sboniso Phakathi (better known as SPOON) is walking with partner Paul Jennings from Musina to Capetown to raise awareness and highlight the ever increasing slaughter of Rhinos in South Africa.