– South Africa: All rhinos in Pilanesberg National Park have been dehorned!

The North West Parks Board, the governmental organisation responsible for the management of protected areas and public nature reserves in South Africa’s North West Province, has announced the decision to trim the horns of all black rhinos and all white rhinos in Pilanesberg National Park. The dehorning of the animals has been done with the help of a veterinary services expert who arrived in Pilanesberg on 12 May 2020. According to a regarding press release, the motivation behind the the drastic measure of interventions was not only to save the species, but also to ensure that the “reward to poachers is reduced” and that “the risks to the poacher are increased”. In addition the dehorning of Pilanesberg’s rhinos, the North West Parks Board will also significantly increase the security efforts in the protected areas and public nature reserves under its management.Pilanesberg National Park is home to one of the most important white rhino populations in South Africa and even the world. Both white and black rhino are adapting extemely well in the National Park and have been used to establish new populations across South Africa and neighboring Botswana. The rhino population of Pilanesberg National Park has been hit hard by illegal poaching for at least the past seven years. Over this period, the National Park lost at least 120 rhinos to poaching activities.
The Pilanesberg Nature Reserve (or Game Reserve, National Park) is situated 50km north of Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa and borders on the famous Sun City entertainment complex. The wildlife sanctuary has an area of 572 km² and accommodates virtually every mammal of southern Africa, including the Big Five. There are nearly 200 km of excellent quality roads for either self-drives or guided drives.

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