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The war against poaching has just been stepped up a notch. Understandably, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife will not divulge all their latest anti-poaching strategies, but one thing they do want the public to know is that they are focused on improving matters dramatically and quickly. As part of this battle Ezemvelo has created and now filled a new post of Rhino Security Intervention Co-ordinator.

As part of this battle Ezemvelo has created and now filled a new post of Rhino Security Intervention Co-ordinator.

Jabulane Ngubane
is the man who will hold those heavy reins. He is nothing if not confident.

He says “However, focused and immediate my task is and it is one massive responsibility - rhino poaching is not something new to me or the organization. Yes, the scale of the attacks has increased massively. But this does not mean we can’t deal with rhino poaching. What it does mean is that we have to focus on and direct our resources very specifically to the challenge. Let me assure you, this can be and is being done.”
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Systems
“We have the systems. But like any emergency in any field or profession, they have to be re-orientated to the heightened situation at hand. While I will never speak wildly about such a sensitive and difficult task, things are under control. Believe me!”

He says there has been a further development in all KZN parks holding rhino, confirming that Field Rangers have received very specific, new equipment.

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) has been bolstered by 18 new rangers, and intelligence has been substantially improved with the employment of a private sector task force and various informer networks.“

“I cannot deal with the businessmen and crime syndicates with their overseas connections. But I do have a larger task in so far as providing Intel from surrounding communities is concerned.”
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Outreach
In this context, he said Ezemvelo’s continued outreach programme towards its parks’ neighbours must be considered in the overall poaching battle. A great number of the Amakhosi are showing a real willingness to support Ezemvelo and their integration into and involvement with nature conservation is growing. This community support is critical, not just in rhino poaching, but in all forms of poaching.

Opportunists
He said “the poachers themselves were very often ‘end-of-the-line opportunists’, seduced by the comparative fortune being offered for horns. You can imagine the temptation of these huge sums. But let it be known here and now - the vast majority of people living near our reserves want to protect our natural heritage.

This year I intend to reduce rhino poaching in our reserves by 50%, next year by 75% and by the third year I aim to have reduced this to what might be termed ‘normal levels’, even though I would hope to have stopped it altogether. I will be consulting extensively with many of my colleagues. Ezemvelo has outstanding experience in this field.”
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