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Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) territorial bull scent marking, &Beyond Phinda private game reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, February 2013

Should rhino horn trade be legalised?

Today is World Environment Day, the theme – illegal wildlife trafficking.  Whether or not to legalise the trade in rhino horn has been one of the hottest controversies surrounding the poaching crisis.  The South African government has backed off plans to seek the legalisation of an international horn trade later this year at the CITES convention, […]

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Poached rhino carcass

The poaching of white rhino bull #109

Yesterday we published an interview with Simon Naylor, reserve manager at Phinda private game reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, revealing the full impact of poaching on the reserve’s rhinos, finances and staff.  Today we publish his report of a recent poaching incident. The report has been edited to remove location and identity information for […]

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Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) male, &Beyond Phinda private game reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, February 2013

At the sharp end – the true cost of rhino poaching

How bad is the rhino poaching in Africa right now and how big a toll is the deadly horn trade taking on those battling to save them day in, day out? Reserve manager Simon Naylor of Phinda  game reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province has just had the job of dehorning their population of rhinos in […]

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Dehorned white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) on rhino farm, Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa, June 2012

Save the Rhino dismay at horn trade ruling

Rhino conservationists have reacted with alarm and dismay to a South African High Court ruling that lifts a ban on domestic trade of rhino horn within the country. Judge Francis Legodi today struck down the moratorium on domestic trade imposed by the South African government in 2009, saying the government had failed to properly consult […]

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Northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) cow called Najin, watched over by armed guard, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia, Kenya, Africa, September 2012

Northern white rhino on countdown to extinction

With a depressing inevitability, the countdown to extinction for the northern white rhino continues. Nola, a 41 year old female living at San Diego Zoo, has been put down, after unsuccessful treatment for a bacterial infection. She was also suffering from arthritis and other age-related issues. This leaves only three of the sub-species remaining, one […]

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White rhino (Ceratotherium simum) with calf

It squeaks: baby white rhino caught on video

Amid all the doom and gloom of rhino poaching, it’s worth an occasional reminder to ourselves of why rhinos are such amazing creatures, and worth our energy and effort to save.  On a recent visit to KwaZulu-Natal we shot some video of white rhinos at a waterhole, including a very small calf.  If you’ve never […]

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Ithuba, white rhino calf (Ceratotherium simum) orphaned by poaching, with carer Axel Tarifa, Rhino Response Strategy, Thula Thula rhino orphanage, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, May 2015

Rhino calves ‘suffer PTSD’ as poaching violence escalates

Ithuba is six and half months old. He’s a white rhino calf and the first inpatient at the new rhino orphanage at Thula Thula private game reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. He’s had a bad night and his carers are concerned about his situation. There’s a real sense of tension in the air. His […]

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AMHRW243 White rhino with calf

Could synthetic horn help save the rhino?

Could a synthetically produced imitation of rhino horn undermine the black market in poached horn, and help save the rhino? That’s the intriguing proposition behind Pembient, a San Francisco-based biotech start-up, which plans to bio-engineer a faux rhino horn that’s genetically indistinguishable from the real thing, and sell it to Asian consumers at prices below […]

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AMHRW125 White rhino with calf

Legal horn trade debate produces heat – and light

The world rallied to the global financial crisis and the ebola crisis; they need to rally to the current global poaching crisis. Fierce debate over legalising the trade in rhino horn has split South Africa’s conservation lobby in recent months. Now a groundbreaking debate on the issue, held recently in Cape Town, has paved the […]

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AMHRB85 Black rhino

Kenya’s black rhinos gaining ground

Some welcome good news from Kenya, where the land available for black rhino is being extended by some 8,000 hectares, with the establishment of the Mutara Conservancy in the Laikipia region. The new conservancy borders Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is home to a significant proportion of Kenya’s black rhino population. Ol Pejeta will assist in […]

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