Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism (Botswana)

PRESS RELEASE 24th December 2019

EFFORTS STEPPED UP TO REDUCE POACHING OF RHINOCEROS IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA

In October 2019 the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism released a statement regarding the ongoing poaching of rhinoceros in the Okavango Delta. At that time 9 rhinos had been killed between 1 April 2019 and 4 October 2019. This unfortunate situation on the countries rhino population has continued with more rhinos being killed. From October 2019 to date, 13 more rhinos have been poached. This brings the number of rhinos poached since October 2018 to 31 rhinos with 23 being white rhinoceros and 8 black rhinoceros.

Government has considerably stepped up efforts to address the poaching situation with interventions leading to recovery of some horns and hunting weapons. During engagement with the poachers seven casualties occurred amongst poachers who were resisting arrest. The Government will continue to do all it can to ensure the protection of this iconic species, which was reintroduced twice in Botswana.

We appeal to all stakeholders including the communities and private sector to support the operations to protect this iconic species. We further call upon members of the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities in and around the Okavango Delta to the nearest security agents.