Namibia Rhinos: ‘Worth more dead than alive’

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a rhino is worth more debt than alive worst case scenario is that we’re going to lose everything the species is really on the brink it enrages you right there so much hard working and never give up they will go there they will keep the Rhinos and they will get away with it the last stand of the endangered black rhino could be here in namibia there are fewer than 6 000 left in the world and namibia has 90 of rhino black them running across the plains usually with their tail up in the air it’s uh that’s africa the country’s also custodian to the second largest white rhino population so there’s a big responsibility to protect them from poachers it’s the morning milk run for annetta oliver oops today you are different today switch around huh today you are switching around and her rhino orphans are waiting for her tubs of sustenance [Music] she’s hand reared these two from birth determined to do her bit to save the species from criminal gangs who slaughter them for their horns it enrages me it enrages me to take such a such a um a valuable life which just for this piece of dust i mean it’s dust it’s just it’s just nothing and i feel for it they’re 17 months old and about to be weaned but still babies playful and curious about our team yeah finished it’s finished there is if you want to feel his mouth is soft and soft but if you put your finger in there you can feel how strong they are because that jeez that is how he rips off the grass wow that’s really hard yeah he’s pulling yeah and it’s that muscle is immensely strong because that’s how he’s feeding how it pulls off the grass she’s been saving orphan Rhinos for nearly three decades sleeping with them in her stable they see her as their mother and she nurses them to adulthood it’s your lucky you by the time they’re ready to be released into the wild like cato and camshona there’s a unique bond hmm it’s unbelievable to think that these guys are still babies they’re huge and how much do they weigh in it probably 450 kilos 450 kilos each that’s the same as a mini caravan each that’s amazing she runs the family farm and safari business with her son and they’re focused on conservation they believe legalizing the sale of rhino horn is one way of saving the species currently worth more dead than alive at this present moment what’s the value of that miner what do you think zero the value the legal value of that rhino is zero the illegal value of that rhino is probably four kilogram horn 60 000 us a kilo about 240 000 us illegal value we’ve lost so so many rhino you know the the species is really on the brink that we just want to conserve every single one they’re constantly fighting the war against poachers with no animal off [Music] feel so limits to be able to see that fight because it only takes a poacher to get lucky once for them to die look at this vast area of land that they have to try and secure namibia’s wildlife is the draw here but coronavirus has punched a hole in the tourism industry halting so much travel security companies are training teams to take on the poachers but their contracts are being slashed right back as the safari lodges cut costs we are withdrawing from certain farms because of the of the financial impact and and that leaves the Rhinos up for grabs i mean and and we are seriously concerned about the fact that the poaching will pick up soon again and because of the fact that the the the anti-poaching units will step down the anti-poaching units are probably doing the most important job on the country’s game reserves this is one man’s private army against the criminal syndicates and this is his first line of defense namibia’s largest stock of white Rhinos is kept on this sprawling farm and every single one of them is precious and heavily protected their location is secret any details could lead criminals here and cost a rhino’s life you can see how easy it is for poachers to get close to them because we are definitely close enough if we were a poacher to be able to shoot that’s why they go to such extraordinary length to protect them but keeping some of the world’s remaining white Rhinos alive is a heavy financial burden we are actually at the brink of going bankrupt um we are really really struggling to pay everything we during corona time we had to let unfortunately i had to let a few people go this shooting isn’t to kill the rhino but to keep it alive it’s being drugged so it can be transported to safety the mission here is to repopulate the world with rhino so it’s 42.5 centimeters and that’s meant taking them out of their african home and selling them abroad with many headed to america [Applause] they’re also cutting off the horns of some of the Rhinos left behind it makes them less attractive to poachers and it will grow back but the criminals who kill for the horn know they can sell it on the black market for millions their mainly far east customers mistakenly believe it’s an aphrodisiac and a medicine the horns stored in bank vaults and various security companies and frequently moved around to avoid detection yeah that’s quite a large amount yeah this is approximately 15 16 kilograms um so we’re talking about times 80 000 us it’s roughly 1.2 million us dollars worth on the on the black market of course but he can’t sell any of it it’s illegal he says right now it’s only the poaching gangs who are making money out of the Rhinos goes to extraordinary lengths to protect the Rhinos on his farm how effective do you think this whole gyrocopter is an anti-pigeon it’s it’s i i i think that’s our big um weapon it’s deterrent from the air he can spot the animals and keeps tabs on their movements and he does this day and night uh well our biggest fear is is that uh the poachers the that they’re gonna get killed by by rhino poachers for their arms jacko’s eyes in the sky help guide his colleague juliet on the ground to where the Rhinos are yeah she tracks down each rhino looking out especially for those with carbs and she logs them all she’s named each one of them and knows them all by sight hi did we scare you i’m sorry calm down calm down girls hi hi sexy girls and there’s another boy hi princess calm down all right all right good girls boys the pandemic lockdown plus tougher sentencing has led to a dramatic drop in poaching numbers but with restrictions lifting they’re fearing the worst here poetry numbers has decreased but that doesn’t mean it’s the wall’s over and i think coronavirus has just made it go down a bit but i think we’re going to rock it up again in a year or two’s time when things go back to normal they’re going to want to catch up for what they’ve lost out on so they’re working hard to prepare for that and they feel the burden of responsibility on all of them we must keep on pushing we must just be hard working and never give up of just uh with this pandemic of coronavirus that we must just work on our best or do on our best just to protect the Rhinos but right now there are just a few standing between the Rhinos and the poachers and so far the poachers seem to keep on winning the massive economic impact caused by the pandemic will also rebound on these creatures who just can’t seem to escape the threat of being wiped out alex crawford sky news namibia

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