Additional details have emerged regarding 30 of the 100-plus live rhinos exported to China from South Africa.
According to South Africa’s Parliamentary Monitoring Group website, 30 live rhinos were exported from Limpopo Province to China between 2007 and 2011:
- 2007: 10 rhinos to Wei Feng Tian by De Cai International
- 2009: 2 rhinos to Thai Skin & Hide by Thaba Manzi Nature Reserve*
- 2011: 2 rhinos to Zheng Zhou Zoo by De Cai International
- 2011: 16 rhinos to Kunming Game Reserve by De Cai International
(“De Cai International” — 28 rhinos to China? And is something called “Thai Skin & Hide” really an appropriate destination for live rhinos?)
It is also interesting to note that in 2010, Chinese media reported the arrival of least 18 rhinos from South Africa. (18 is coincidentally the number of rhinos exported in 2011, according to the PMG.)
- June 2010: Twelve rhinos were apparently flown from Johannesburg to Guangzhou, after a stopover in Kuala Lumpur. Their final destination was said to be the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, China. (See Chinese News Reports Arrival of 12 Rhinos From South Africa.)
- August 2010: A “breeding pair” of rhinos reportedly arrived at China’s Tianjin Zoo. (See Reports of More Rhinos Arriving in China from South Africa.)
- November 2010: The Yunnan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau noted on their website that four white rhinos passed through the inspection center. The rhinos were said to have been imported from South Africa by Shi Lin Longhui Wildlife Research Center Co., Ltd. (See Reports of More Rhinos Arriving in China from South Africa.)
Indeed, these decisions to export rhinos to China (a rhino horn consumer country) in the midst of the rhino crisis seem questionable.
But wait, there’s more.
Most recently, South Africa exported rhinos, lions and other wildlife to Dhaka Zoo in Bangladesh — despite the fact that 12 of the 27 animals South Africa sent to the same zoo in 2008 were dead within one year.
*Seven rhino horns were reportedly stolen in an armed robbery at Thaba Manzi in October 2010.
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