Take Away all the Blockages and Assist South Africa’s Rhino Farmers

It is my opinion that government paid far too much attention to the animal rights opposition to WHITE rhino farming and WHITE rhino horn trimming and it put blocks all along the highway towards the development of a rational legal trade in rhino horn.

My advice? Take away all the blockages and assist South Africa’s rhino farmers to create, to develop and  to succeed in establishing an international trade in legal rhino horn.

Register ALL the rhino farms as captive-breeding units with CITES, and do something positive for the rhino farmers, for a change! If Government does not do this, it will have failed this country’s wildlife industry in the most terrible of ways. And it may even see the extinction of all our WHITE rhinos because, if rhino farming does not pay, it will not endure. And I, for one, will lay the cause of that crime – the extinction of our rhinos – at the feet of those who created an inept government policy.

In terms of BLACK rhinos, there is a conflict of management interests between the BLACK rhinos in our game reserves, and a totally inept government management policy on how to handle the excessive numbers of elephants in our game reserves.

The too-many-elephants are destroying their own habitats, and in the process they are also destroying the essential BLACK rhino habitats in our game reserves, and nobody within the body of our scientific authorities understand just what is happening.

I have written to SANParks about this; and I have written to the Natal wildlife authorities about this – and received a zero response.

This subject is my greatest passion and I know what I am talking about. And I no longer know who to appeal to with regards to this very important issue.

If nothing happens to rectify what is going on I predict here and now that we will lose all our black rhinos in Kruger National Park, and in the Umfolosi-Hluhluwe complex in Kwa-Zulu Natal, due to nothing more than elephant management ineptitude.

Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

Ron Thomson has 271 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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