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Poaching still rife as dozens of rhinos,
elephants die this year in Namibia 

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Poaching continues to rear its ugly head in Namibia as 16 rhinos and as many elephants have been killed this year, said the Environment Ministry on Wednesday in a statement.

Eight rhino carcasses were discovered in the country’s flagship wildlife conservation, Etosha National Park, during aerial patrols conducted between June 23 and 25, said the statement.

After instituting the process of assessing the carcasses to establish the exact cause, the results indicated that seven of the rhinos were poached while one rhino died of natural causes.

Chief Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda said the recent discoveries bring the total poached rhinos to 16 for this year and the same figure was also recorded for poached elephants.

“The Ministry will continue with its efforts to strengthen effective crime prevention and law enforcement through coordinated and intergrated clusters of activities such as security planning, monitoring and adaptive management,” he added.

According to Muyunda, the ministry has since intensified patrols in protected areas, including their collaboration with the Namibian police, defense forces and other parties.

Meanwhile, investigations in these cases and other cases related to wildlife crimes are ongoing and the public has been urged to report an suspected cases of poaching and a reward of 60,000 Namibian dollars (4,630 U.S. dollars) has been put forward for any information leading to arrests.



Wildlife killing, poaching hurt Namibia’s image: tourist association

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Increasing incidents of human-wildlife conflict will hurt the country’s image and its tourism sector, said Gitta Paetzold, chief executive officer of Hospitality Association of Namibia, on Wednesday.

Paetzold said the tourism sector highly relies on both the people living close to national parks and the wildlife.

“If more cases of brutal poaching and killing of wildlife are reported in the country which is a tourist destination, we lose the good image we worked hard to build and thus we may lose out,” she said.

Statistics from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism shows that as at June, a total of 16 rhinos and 16 elephants had been killed for this year alone.

“The recent killings of lions and wildlife should be addressed as it diminishes the face value of the tourism sector,” she said.

According to Paetzold, there is a great need to create awareness on the importance of wildlife conservancy in Namibia.

“We need to educate our Namibian people on what conservation of our natural environment is as well as the value of wildlife and environment, which is a challenge as people do not understand its value,” she said.

Meanwhile, Romeo Muyunda, public relations officer in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, said that tackling poaching remains their priority.

Namibia aims to attract 1.8 million tourists to the country by 2022 by creating a competitive tourism sector, a target set in its fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) launched on May 31.



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