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Moon lights way for rhino poachers

A WANING moon is said to have made possible the killing in two provinces of at least four rhinos this weekend.

The eblockwatch Rhino Dream Team has responded to the discovery of five rhino carcasses since Thursday.

The fifth rhino was shot perhaps weeks earlier, but was only discovered this weekend.

The discoveries were made on three farms in Limpopo and Gauteng. The names of the farms have been withheld to protect other rhinos.

The shooting in Gauteng was that of a pregnant cow. Those responding discovered the foetus. It was the second rhino to be poached on the farm in a week.

A member of the eblockwatch Rhino Dream Team, Selomie Maritz, said poachers had taken advantage of the better light conditions provided by the waning moon.

Things had become so bad that rhino owners had set up patrols during full moon.

“With the army now patrolling in SANparks, it appears that the poachers are focusing on the private rhino owners,” said Maritz.

By the beginning of this month, 173 rhinos had been poached in South Africa – 120 in the Kruger National Park.

Authorities had arrested 122 suspected poachers, of whom 20 were killed and 10 injured.

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