HOEDSPRUIT - On May 10, three suspects were caught and arrested for being in possession of rhino horn, a fire arm and ammunition at Klaserie Private Nature Reserve (KPNR). On hearing shots within the reserve, Colin Rowles, Warden of KPNR, reacted immediately and began tracking the poachers. The mission was a great success: Colin and his team not only arrested the suspects, but also recovered the horns and more ammunition. Hoedspruit SAPS spokesperson sergeant Mulaudzi said ‘On Tuesday May 10, we received information that three suspects had been caught and arrested at Klaserie in connection with rhino poaching’. The suspects have appeared in court and the case has been remanded to the May 19, for their bail application’. ‘I would like to send a plea to the members of the public and members of the community to assist us with any information that they have, which could be of value to us in our fight against rhino poaching,’ said Colin. He continued: ‘it would be valuable if the community were to contribute to stopping the rhino poaching that is taking place. The generation of the future will be deprived of the pleasure of seeing rhinos as we can see them today’. ‘We are appealing to the community that anyone with any information regarding rhino poaching would report it to our station on 015 799 4065,’ said sergeant Mulaudzi. South Africa has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world and is an incredibly important country for rhino conservation. However, rhino poaching levels have dramatically escalated in recent years. Help save the rhino of South Africa; rhinos are an integral part of the South African ecosystem. Rhinos are killed by humans for their horns, which are bought and sold on the black market, and which are used by some cultures for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes. East Asia, specifically Vietnam, is the largest market for rhino horn. By weight, rhino horn can even outprice gold on the black market. The horns are ground to a powder and then consumed. The dust is wrongly believed to have therapeutic properties, but the horns are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails. We need to teach people to stop thinking of rhino horn as a valuable commodity and start focusing on the facts. Rhino horn has no medicinal properties, no curative benefits, and no magical powers. Rhino are an umbrella species – Protect the rhino, and you protect all the other species that share their habitat.