By Rhishja Cota-Larson
The peculiar case of the rhinos exported from South Africa to China continues to unravel with reports that some of the rhinos destined for Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming did not survive the journey.
Marketing manager for Yunnan Wild Animal Park (YWAP), Li Li, admitted to NewsChina that out of 12 rhinos purchased from Kruger National Park and private game reserves, three of the rhinos were dead upon arrival in 2010. The deal was signed “after a long negotiation process” in 2009.
It has also been revealed that Kingland Group Co., Ltd — a company which “manufactures pipelines and promotes eco-tourism” — provided significant funds for bringing the rhinos to China. Kingland is reportedly financing the import of another 30 rhinos, although “further negotiations with South Africa and other African countries had recently stalled”. Besides YWAP, the Sanya City “center for artificial propagation of the rhinoceros” in Hainan Province imported significant numbers of white rhinos from South Africa and has been conducting “horn harvesting experiments” under the guise of “reintroducing wild rhinoceroses from overseas through establishment of breeding centers”. (YWAP denied any connection to the Hainan Province facility, according to NewsChina.)
Other companies linked to importing rhinos to China include the Mekong Group, Shin Lin Longhui Wildlife Research Co. Ltd / Longui Pharmaceutical Company, and the Hawk Group (an arms manufacturer, of which Longhui is a subsidiary). On the export side in South Africa, De Cai International, Jimmy Magill, and Thaba Manzi Nature Reserve have been identified. More....