Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

okavango rhino

A previously translocated rhino, now in Okavango Delta in Botswana.

The latest development from Kruger National Park is the possibility of moving approximately 500 rhino in an effort to stop the slaughter. Although no details are confirmed with this massive relocation, there is speculation that Botswana may be one of the destinations.

Botswana is one of a few countries who have adopted the controversial shoot-to-kill policy in answer to relentless poaching.

There will always be arguments about whether or not it is an ethical solution. But does it work?

In Swaziland game rangers have permission to shoot-to-kill people suspected of poaching wildlife on the monarch’s land and protects them from prosecution for murder in some circumstances.

Ted Reilly, the chief executive of Big Game Parks (BGP), which runs the major national parks in Swaziland on behalf of the King, holds a Royal Warrant to allow him to shoot-to-kill.

Reilly has said ‘Our guys aren’t to be messed with. If they [poachers] come after rhino they’re going to get hurt, and if he gets killed or maimed, well, you know, who’s to blame for that?’

Results: In the last 20 years, Swaziland has only lost 3 rhino to poaching.

Warning to poachers.

Warning to poachers.

In Kaziranga National Park, India, forest guards actually receive a cash  bonus to their salary if they successfully wound and kill a poacher. Furthermore, the forest guards will not be prosecuted for the shooting , whether in self-defense or as a pro-active ambush or attack.

The issue of indemnity for armed wildlife guards is an important one for many field programs, whose staff risk being caught up in lengthy court cases and even prison, while acting in the line of duty.

kaziranga rhino 2

Indian Rhino in Kairanga National Park.

Results: Kaziranga has lost 20 rhino so far this year, and a total of 20-40 have been poached every year since 2005.

Zimbabwe has enacted shoot to kill. Their results? There were 20 rhino poached in 2013 and 60 in 2012. This was a drop since their record high of 84 in 2008.

Tanzania had a shoot-to-kill policy for a short time. It was proving to be extremely effective.

Soldiers, police, game rangers and forestry officers had been involved in a month-long crackdown on poachers, code-named Operation Terminate, in October. But the operation was suspended after an inquiry by MPs uncovered a litany of arbitrary murder, rape, torture and extortion of innocent people.

But officials admit elephant deaths have risen dramatically since the government abandoned the policy against poachers

The deputy minister of natural resources and tourism in Tanzania, Lazaro Nyalandu said 60 elephants were butchered in November and December, compared with just two in October.

tan ele

Tanzania is losing 30 elephants a day to poaching.


Although shoot-to-kill is not fool-proof, as the most greedy of poachers will poach; it does convey the strongest stance possible in a countries’ willingness to stop the slaughter of our wildlife. If Botswana is indeed the recipient of Kruger’s rhino, maybe their shoot-to-kill hardline stance on poachers will finally stem the blood flow.





Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

  1. Or underground…

  2. I voted wrong.. meant to hit the YES

  3. Pingback: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures | Garry Rog...

  4. Pingback: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

  5. Pingback: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures in Battle to Save Rhinos | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

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  7. I hope they can achieve these numbers for translocation to Botswana. A fellow campaigner like your good self, has been very much involved in a current translocation programme and now has 7 rhinos in Botswana. I have been to Ngala, Kruger and Botswana and have been a follower of the “our horn is not medicine” campaign a personal endeavour founded by a great young ranger Lee-Anne Davis and her fellow rangers from the Ngala private reserve on the border of Kruger national park do this. As rangers working at the front line they see it first hand and they are passionate about there work to stop poaching and relocating the rhinos. The link below is worth visiting , and perhaps your followers could throw some support there way.

    Love your work and all those who passionately commit to preserving these wonderful animals.

  8. deze beesten hebben er niet om gevraagd om zo behandeld te worden laat ze met rusten leven in hun natuur

  9. Chris

    Why is Immoral to shoot and kill a human being, that shoots and kills a magnificent creature like an Elephant, Rhino and even another human being that stands in their way to protect the animal. Double standard??? And I most definitively Voted YES….

  10. Denise Putt

    I voted undecided. My instinct says ‘yes – but …’ The incidents of murder of innocents as described when there is a shoot to kill policy is very worrying. In terms of poaching, animal life, particularly the great endangered sentiments, has now become more valuable than human. But I need to know that those charged with shoot to kill policy are highly disciplined and highly trained. There needs to be accountability for justification when poachers are killed and not carte blanche impunity.

  11. ishkabibbul

    Although I voted yes -I know the real murders are the one who pay the poachers -China -the Asian countries and the trophy hunters they are all responsible for the horrific cruel death of these magnificent endangered animals -soon they will only be a picture in a book -what will they kill then?

  12. Louise naylor

    Can’t we just give free Viagra to the idiot market for whom the poaching is done. Also flood their consciousness with the information that compressed hair does nothing for their dumb dicks.

    Just processing the problem in reverse out of exasperation and desperation and a love of wildlife.

  13. Pingback: VETPAW - To stem poaching, some countries adopt shoot-to-kill policy

  14. Pingback: Tala Private Game Reserve’s Gems: Five Adult Rhinos - BeanOn

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