By Mike Cohen
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has donated 250 million rand ($23 million) to help South Africa combat rhino poaching, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said.
South Africa, which is home to more than 80 percent of the world’s rhino population, lost 1,004 rhinos to poachers last year, and another 172 so far this year. The donation to South African National Parks will be used to fund a three-year initiative aimed at stopping the slaughter in northeastern Kruger National Park.
“The funding received will contribute immensely to addressing the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa,” Molewa said in an e-mailed copy of a speech prepared for delivery in Johannesburg today. “We are determined not to lose this fight.”
South Africa is placing soldiers alongside park rangers to combat poachers that kill rhinos to feed a market for horns in Vietnam and China, where buyers believe they can heal ailments. The animals’ horns sell for more than gold by weight.
Howard G. Buffett, the son of billionaire Warren Buffett and chief executive of the foundation that bears his name, has been a permanent resident of South Africa since 2007.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at firstname.lastname@example.org