During the ongoing month of November alone, about seven rhino carcasses were found in Etosha National Park, bringing the number of poached rhinos to 47 for 2016, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism stated this week.
Chief Public Relations officer at the ministry, Romeo Muyunda noted that Namibia, including other African countries are experiencing unprecedented levels of rhino and elephant poaching.
“Wildlife trafficking is becoming a million dollar criminal enterprise that has expanded to become more than just a conservation concern. The increasing involvement of organized crime in poaching and wildlife trafficking promotes corruption, threatens peace, strengthens illicit trade routes, destabilizes economies and communities that depend on wildlife for their livelihoods,” Muyunda said.
According to the ministry, the number of poached elephants currently stands at 69 in 2016 alone, with most elephants killed in the Zambezi and Kavango East regions. Investigations on the discovered carcasses, by the Namibian Police Force and the ministry are underway, Muyunda noted.
Elephant and rhino poaching keeps on increasing, this while the ministry has set out a reward of N$60,000 to anyone who will provide the ministry’s law enforcement officers with information on poaching activities.
Muyunda added that the ministry will continue work with the Namibian Police Force and Namibian Defense Force and other stakeholders in putting boots on the ground and intensifying its crime prevention patrols and intelligence.
“I take this opportunity to condemn all ill-intentioned activities of rhino poaching and elephant poaching and call upon those involved to refrain from such activities with immediate effect or risk their chances of being caught and face the full wrath of the law,” Muyunda concluded.