By Erin Conway-Smith
The last rhino in Mozambique has been killed by poachers. At least that's what the media would have you believe.
A few days ago, a local Johannesburg paper, the Times, ran a story about game rangers in the Mozambique section of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, who colluded with poachers to murder the last 15 rhinos out of an original population of 300.
The Times cited a statement from the reputable conservation group, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which based its facts on a Mozambique press agency story from last week.
AIM, the news agency, quotes park warden Antonio Abacar as saying there are no rhinos left in the country’s Limpopo National Park as a result of poaching.
"Since I arrived last January I have never been in the presence of this species inside the park," Abacar told AIM, "which means that those who lived in the park are now probably dead."
According to the news story, while a 2011 census found there were still some rhinos left in the park, these animals are thought to have disappeared by the end of that year.
This report is headline-grabbing, but it is unclear when Mozambique’s last rhinos were killed, or whether they were even from Mozambique — they could just as well have crossed the porous land border from South Africa. More....