By Duncan Alfreds
A pregnant rhino cow was poached in the Magaliesberg on Monday.
The cow was shot with a heavy calibre rifle and her horn was brutally hacked off.
"Last seen with her 2.5 year old calf in the morning, she was shot with a heavy calibre rifle and butchered with a panga for her horns all while she was still alive," said a statement from the Askari Game Lodge & Spa.
Anti-poaching units, police and reserve staff searched for the young rhino for hours.
Tragically, the 28-year-old rhino cow was due to give birth to what would have been her fourth calf within months, an autopsy confirmed.
According to the department of environmental affairs (DEA), 618 rhino have been poached in SA so far this year. This is on course to nearly double the 668 total of 2012, which was also significantly higher than the 448 poached in 2011.
According to Cites (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), poachers are heavily armed in their determination to kill rhino. More....