By Aislinn Laing
The last known rhinoceroses in Mozambique have been wiped out by poachers apparently working in cahoots with the game rangers responsible for protecting them.
The 15 threatened animals were shot dead for their horns last month in the Mozambican part of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also covers South Africa and Zimbabwe.
They were thought to be the last of an estimated 300 that roamed through the special conservation area when it was established as “the world’s greatest animal kingdom” in a treaty signed by the three countries’ presidents in 2002.
The latest deaths, and Mozambique’s failure to tackle poaching, has prompted threats by South Africa to re-erect fences between their reserves.
Wildlife authorities believe the poachers were able to track the rhinoceroses with the help of game rangers working in the Limpopo National Park, as the Mozambican side of the reserve is known.
A total of 30 rangers are due in court in the coming weeks, charged with collusion in the animals’ deaths, according to the park’s administrators. More....