2003 at 03:08AM
By Jill Gowans
Six black rhinos will be the star attraction
at the 15th Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife annual game auction
Park on Saturday.
Two years ago, when this endangered
species was last up for auction, a group of six was sold for R3,3-million
R550 000 each. Such
is their conservation status that potential black rhino owners
must have their properties inspected by KZN Wildlife staff before
they can register as bidders.
Black rhinos can only be sold to
South African game ranches as trade in the species between countries
is banned under the Convention
on International Trade of Endangered Species (Cites).
rhinos are on offer. Top price of R410 000 was paid last year
for a female, while the average price was R237 500.
hoping for a very good auction'
Forty-one nyala - which averaged
R7 400 last year - are also among the animals already captured
and being held in the bomas of the
Centenary Centre in Umfolozi.
The prime purpose of the auction is
as a management tool to dispose of surplus game following annual
scientific evaluation of the animals
in each park managed by KZN Wildlife.
But the auction also raises
vital funds for the provincial conservation organisation, about
10 percent of operating costs. Last year R11,3-million
While buyers can view captured animals
in the bomas before the auction, game is also sold off catalogue
for later capture.
year this includes most of the antelope like impala, blue wildebeest,
kudu, waterbuck and other animals like warthog.
'Wildlife prices are depressed this
We're hoping for a very good auction," said Jeff Gaisford
of KZN Wildlife.
But we're concerned about the drought in Limpopo where many of
our buyers come from. Wildlife prices are depressed this year,
judging from other auctions, but the quality of our game is superb
and it always fetches top prices," Gaisford said.
* This article
was originally published on page 4 of The Mercury on June 18,