It's a sad fact but poaching appears to still be on the rise in South Africa (and elsewhere). Guides we spoke to estimated that up to 1000 rhino will be lost to poachers this year. 1000 rhinos. That's an unspeakable national disaster. I read one story where a well known naturalist and bushie from RSA was trying to educate the local resident villagers into the idea that poaching animals and of course, particularly rhino, was counter productive. Education in the villages has, it seems, had some impact but mostly because anti-poaching groups are increasingly active in these areas. They tend to shoot poachers dead on sight and leave them to the wild animals. If the poachers are shot and the incidents reported, it's the shooters that get jailed NOT the poachers, if any survive. The simple answer to this is that they shoot poachers on sight and don't tell anyone. It's the kids in the villages that get hit the hardest when their fathers never return from a "trip". Personally I think the shoot to kill policy is good simply because the official response is always too little, too late.
We were snapping a cute herd of waterbuck when the guide noticed something odd about one of them. Through his binoculars he saw a snare - the wire still attached round the waterbuck's neck. Not a pretty sight but it seemed at least that the snare hadn't cut into the neck area - no sign of blood - even so, it was a nasty reminder that even in the safari heaven that is Honeyguide and Manayleti, dark deeds continue.
The guide duly reported the incident and, hopefully, a vet was going to try to locate the animal, dart it and remove the wire snare. Photos.