Since the start of the poaching epidemic in 2008 South Africa has lost over 4000 rhinos – a figure that, despite so much effort, increases daily.
Sadly, few people realize the challenges facing those on the frontlines – thousands of kilometers to patrol with little to no idea of where the poachers plan to hit next. The organised crime syndicates that run poaching gangs are ruthless, often involved in other syndicated crime like vehicle theft and cash-in-transit heists. Rhino horn is just another commodity to them, but with less risk. They have established networks, including insiders within the authorities, and strive to make connections with reserve staff to disclose information on rhino and ranger locations. Corruption, at the end of the day, is our greatest enemy.