Three rhinos are poached every single day in Africa. More than 1,000 rhinos have died in South Africa annually since 2012. The poaching threat continues to spread across borders and countries as illegal demand grows. For the Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game & Wilderness Reserve, located in the Tuli Block in Botswana, preventing poaching through intelligent measures is critical to preserving the lives of these increasingly endangered animals. This Reserve has invested into anti-poaching measures that are designed to protect the rhino, their legacy and the safety of all its animals.
“There has been an increase in rhino poaching Botswana over the past few months – seven rhinos have been killed in Botswana since May – and we have implemented measures designed to counteract this worrying trend,” says Kevin MacFarlane, Reserve Manager of Limpopo-Lipadi. “We have decided to double down on our anti-poaching efforts to keep rhinos out of harm’s way by upping our commitment to rigorous anti-poaching methods that include working with the Botswana government, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and the Botswana Defence Force, investing into our own anti-poaching team and de-horning our rhinos.”
The reserve has invested into training and reinforcements for its anti-poaching unit and their work is further supported by the well-armed Botswana Defence Force. Highly trained tracker dogs, complement Kalahari bushmen trackers to patrol the perimeter to detect intruders on the reserve, night and the day.
“As part of our conservation and anti-poaching efforts, The Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks has allowed us to de-horn our rhinos,” says MacFarlane. “Thanks to this initiative, today we can say that there are no horns available for poaching in our reserve. We will be repeating this de-horning process at least once a year, so we can focus on our efforts to protect and breed rhinos and help rebuild their flagging numbers. We are also working closely with the Department’s anti-poaching unit to protect all wildlife in the Tuli Block.”
Limpopo-Lipadi has become home to a number of rhinos over the past ten years. The de-horning programme will now allow for these animals to continue to breed safely – it forms a critical part of the reserve’s conservation efforts and draws a clear line under its anti-poaching stance. It is also being undertaken with extreme care to ensure that the risk to the rhinos is minimal.
“We work with one of the most experienced rhino vets in Southern Africa, Dr Erik Vereynne,” concludes MacFarlane. “His understanding of technique, drugs and animal care has meant that our rhinos have felt minimal stress throughout the procedure. Thanks to his work and our passion for protecting these magnificent animals we are making great strides in protecting the wildlife that thrives in our beautiful Reserve.”
To find out more about Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game & Wildnerness Reserve and its conservation work visit www.limpopo-lipadi.org or call: + 267 724 79048.