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Durban - Environmentalists and security experts have joined hands to protect the threatened Oribi antelope from illegal dog hunting in KwaZulu-Natal, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) said on Tuesday.
The Oribi, a highly specialised antelope inhabiting Africa’s temperate grasslands, was classified as endangered in the “SA Red Data Book for Mammals” because of its rapid population decline in recent years.
Manager of the Threatened Grassland Species Program of EWT, Ian Little, said the diminutive Oribi was threatened due to the destruction of its habitat and the targeting of the species by hunters using dogs.
“The only workable solutions to this problem depend on full community support, and this is where SA CAN comes in,” said Little in a statement.
SA CAN, a private company, specialises in co-ordinating public and private security resources to respond to emergency situations.
Spokesman Brian Jones said it was currently running a rural safety pilot project involving the Howick, Estcourt and Ladysmith police clusters.
Little said SA CAN’s technology would make it possible for EWT, supported by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife conservation officers and the police, to rapidly respond to emergencies and incidents of poaching.
“We would be able to quickly halt and arrest those taking part in hunting of the Oribi with dogs, and this would mean that this species has a chance at recovering its numbers,” he said. - Sapa