Chairperson of the Olifants West Trust in the Hoedspruit area of Limpopo, Nick Koornhof, believes the dropping of a fence in a Trans frontier Park between the Kruger National Park and Limpopo National Park of Mozambique was a mistake. There's a concern that rhino poachers mostly enter the Park through the Mozambican side.
The Great Limpopo Trans frontier Park which includes parts of the parks in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa was formed in the year 2000. Koornhof explains that the rhinos are now extinct from the Mozambican side of the fence since the fence was dropped.
“That's a big concern and there's now a big debate whether or not the fence should come up. I will support that. I think it's an unfortunate, failed initiative and people on the Mozambique side were just not simply ready for that and they were allowing poachers to come big time.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Private Nature Reserves adjoining the Kruger National Park on the northern side, has intensified the war against rhino poaching by appointing an anti-poaching team comprising of women.
The slaughter of rhinos continues unabated with the Kruger National Park being the hardest hit. The park has lost 180 rhinos so far this year. The warden of the Olifants West section in the Hoedspruit area, Craig Spencer, says the team will help gather intelligence.
"I think this is a dangerous lifestyle that anybody lives, I'd say the same for the game ranger taking clients out in a vehicle. There has to be a certain level of training to ensure their safety in the field. And we also don't deploy the black mambas team, the Bobbies on the beat, in situations where we think it might endanger themselves. Their job would entail sitting in an observation position watching and just writing down all the vehicles, all the people coming and going from the premises. They're gathering information," says Spencer.