Environment ministry records 28 rhinos poached this year

ENGERED … At least 28 rhinos were poached in Namibia this year, the environment ministry has announced. File photo

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has recorded 28 rhinos poached in Namibia from January to date.

This was announced yesterday in a media statement by ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda. “It is concerning to note that 19 were poached in Etosha National Park, of which 10 were discovered during dehorning operations throughout the month of March,” he said.

Muyunda added that poaching at Etosha is particularly concerning because this is the flagship park and has a high concentration of rhino conservation and other high value species, making it a major attraction for tourists.

“On the basis of the current situation and the urgency, an assessment is being undertaken in Etosha to establish the full extent of the problem,” he said.

Muyunda added that an urgent high-level meeting by the ministry with the security clusters has been called to dissect the matter.

The ministry also confirmed recent reports of four white rhinos poached on a private farm in the Otjozodjupa region. This brings the total of rhinos poached on private farms in the country to five for the year.

“Additionally, three rhinos were poached in 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,” Muyunda said.

He added that Namibia has not recorded any elephants poached so far in 2024.

“In this moment, we call upon our array of stakeholders, including members of the public, to summon their conscience and patriotism and join the ministry in this difficult fight against poaching of high value species.

“We remain committed to fight poaching at all costs to ensure we achieve our obligation of protecting our wildlife to benefit the current and future generations of Namibia,” he said.

Muyunda added that the ministry will endeavour to strengthen interventions and sharpen their strategies moving forward.

“This discovery calls for collective action by all of us. We condemn the barbaric actions of those involved and urge anyone with any information that may assist us in apprehending the suspects to come forth,” he said.

It is further reported that no arrests have been made in the recent cases so far, as investigations continue.

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