Botswana President Ian Khama on Monday said that the Asian market was to blame for increase in poaching activities in the Southern Africa region.
Speaking at the refurbishment of Khama Rhino Sanctuaryin north-eastern Botswana, the President said "you are all aware of the threat to the rhino in the region by poachers feeding foreign markets in Asia." He said rhinos, like other wildlife, must not be looked upon as just animals.
"They have a value in terms of our important natural heritage. Like diamonds, another of our natural resources, they bring in much needed revenue into the country and create a lot of employment," he said.
Khama added that the sanctuary has for quite some time proved beyond doubt that the idea of putting up community trust is a success story in Botswana.
"Let me once again remind anyone who may poach in this country that our rhinos are guarded by members of our security forces. I need not say more about the consequences in the event of armed poachers trying to rob us of any our resources," he warned.