South Africa: One Company Stands Out in Exporting Rhinos to China


Details continue to emerge regarding the unusually large number of rhinos that South Africa exported to China during the last few years.

One company, De Cai International (also spelled as “Decai”) stands out because, according to our earlier report, it has exported 28 out of at least 30 rhinos to China during a four-year period. Ten of the rhinos were sent to an importer listed as Wei Feng Tian, 16 to Kunming Game Reserve, and the other two to Zheng Zhou Zoo.

The other two of the 30 were exported by Thaba Manzi Nature Reserve to Thai Skin and Hide.

But who is De Cai, or Decai, International?

We were recently provided with a few interesting details about Decai International, including the company address and names of the directors.

Decai International’s registration date is November 10th, 1998, and its business activities are listed as “wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motor cycles and personal and household goods; hotels and restaurants”.

Decai International has a registered physical address in Gauteng Province: 53 Featherdale Estate, Bonaero Park, Kempton Park, 1619. The mailing address is listed as PO Box 8157, Bonaero Park, 1622.

Listed as current directors are Hao Song, Hong Wang, Hong Yu Chen, Jin Hong Wang, and Shouwen Jiang. Seven people — Hongpeng Ju, Tao Liang, Shouwen Jiang, Haiquan Lu, Xiaoming Li and Yuan Lun Liu — were listed as “resigned”. (It is not clear if Shouwen Jiang refers to the same individual.)

Rhinos exported from North West Province

Although Decai International’s address is in Gauteng Province, its 28 rhino exports were approved by authorities in Limpopo Province.

Between 2008 — 2010, at least 38 rhinos were exported from North West Province to China; documents obtained from O.R. Tambo International Airport, via South Africa’s Parliamentary Monitoring Group, include only the importers’ addresses.

26 of the rhinos were sent to “NQ1 Siulong Artery, Hangfu (or ‘Hanfu’) Road, Hangzhou, Zhejaing Province”; four to “No. 59, Hutouji Road, Fuzhou, Fujian Province”; two to “No Zero Xin Gongyuan Rd., Nanchang”; two to Luoyang Wangcheng Park, No. 312, Zhongzhou Middle Road Xigong District, Luioyang City Henan Province; and four to “Tianci Xu, Sanya Longhui Breeding Co, Ltd. Tailing Village Tianya, Sanya (City), Hainan Province”.

At the time of writing, it is not known if Decai International is connected to the North West rhino exports; however, it will not be a surprise if a connection is made.

Wild-caught rhinos exported to China

Data obtained from CITES suggests that of the 159 rhinos that South Africa exported to China during 2007 — 2010, at least 60, and possibly as many as 134, were captured from the wild.

Video of wild-caught rhinos from South Africa, now living in captivity in China:

China reports receiving 131 rhinos during the same time period.

‘Competent to grant permits’

Article IX of the text of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) states that

Each Party shall designate for the purposes of the present Convention:

(a) one or more Management Authorities competent to grant permits or certificates on behalf of that Party; and

(b) one or more Scientific Authorities.

It’s difficult to believe that exports of such large numbers of rhinos to a rhino horn consumer country — during an escalation in illegal rhino horn trade — did not attract the attention of South Africa’s designated Management or Scientific Authorities.

Got questions? Contact information for South Africa’s CITES Management and Scientific Authorities can be found here.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, an educational nonprofit organization which provides news and information about wildlife crime and endangered species. I am the Editor of Rhino Horn is Not Medicine and Project Pangolin, author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine, a writer for the environmental news blog Planetsave, the host of Behind the Schemes, and Producer for the upcoming documentary The Price. When I'm not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, I enjoy gardening, reading, designing, and rocking out to live music.

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  1. This is horrible. Who can I contact to help.