Rhino poached at Prince William proposal refuge

by Ella FAIRCHILD on April 20, 2012

Lewa, the wildlife conservancy Prince William proposed to wife Kate Middleton at, has become the latest poaching victim after one of the rare black rhinos it hosts was killed last week.

Matterhorn, a pregnant female rhino, was the fifth animal of her species to become lost after being poached at Lewa. A two-year-old calf injured in the attack is thankfully expected to recover from the incident, which occurred despite the reserve being protected by a strong security force of 150 men that remains unparalleled elsewhere in the conservation world.

Insiders have commented that the circumstances of the theft give a grim indication of an increasing demand for both ivory and rhino horn, as well as the risks that poachers are prepared to take in order to feed it. Worryingly, the problem isn’t merely limited to Kenya as poaching around Africa as a whole is at the highest levels since the 1990 introduction the ivory trade ban.

A Cameroonian national park recently lost 458 elephants – most of its entire population. This week, the South African government’s Department of Environmental Affairs reported that over 170 rhino were poached since January, a figure inclusive of 103 from one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions - Kruger National Park. Ian Craig, a world-renowned conservationist and one of the founders of the Lewa conservancy, has described the crisis as being a constantly unfolding disaster for the African continent.

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