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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : June 2001 : Rare East African black rhino faces death

Rare East African black rhino faces death

Mail & Guardian (London)
June 1, 2001

The Mail & Guardian reports that a rare East African black rhino, also known as michaeli rhino, is about to be killed in a "canned" hunt near Johannesburg.

According to the article, the rhino cow was brought to South Africa 12 years ago as part of an endangered species breeding programme run by North West-based wildlife dealer John Brooker. Named Baixinha, the rhino cow is apparently very tame and often features in movies and commercials.

However, a Norwegian hunter is reportedly prepared to pay more than $60 000 to shoot the black rhino cow as he believes she will make a unique trophy. According to Brooker, a hunting permit has been granted on the basis that South African black rhinos are a different sub-species and "hunting" her will not have an impact on local populations, the article states.

Brooker is quoted as saying that Baixinha will be "hunted" because the breeding project has floundered on conservation red tape. "The project failed as a result of political interference by conservation NGOs and bureaucrats. Their attitude was that the only people who could have black rhinos in this country were the national parks," he reportedly said.

According to the article, the Ethical Conservation Network, a local watchdog body, has offered to find Baixinha a new mate and home in East Africa. However, the offer has not been taken up by the financial backer of the failed breeding project, David Laylin, an American businessman.



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