50|50 Episode 4 – 2 July 2012

Rhino Drama Continues…

In a conservancy near the Kruger park, the casualties to rhino poaching have been high. Now Atile and her new calf, Bina are in danger of losing their lives. However, the reserve managers are determined not to let this happen and their hopes are pinned on a de-horning programme. Dehorning rhino is risky business! It has to be done carefully for the safety of both human and animal. Its also only a deterrent to  poachers and not a foolproof exercise. Rhinos have horns for a reason… will Atile manage to survive and protect Bina without hers? In this episode, we continue the rhino debate as we watch the vulnerable duo – mother rhino and calf – being sedated, dehorned and set free to an uncertain future. We talk about how feasible it is to dehorn rhinos, what effect the release of rhino horn stockpiles will have on the global market. Can the rhino horn trade really work to save our rhinos?

Rhino poaching is continually on our minds, on the radios, in the papers and on TV. Since 2010, poaching rates have soared to what may ultimately lead to the decimation of the species… and there is no single, conclusive solution to the problem.  But we, as well as the rhino, keep fighting for survival… the survival of an Africa icon.

The  Rhino Keepers

Book review: a personal story of the conservation of rhinos in Africatold through the experiences and insights of the pre-eminent conservationists Clive and Anton Walker. It is a harrowing real-life account that underscores the enormous challenges faced in a world where rhino horn rivals cocaine in the eastern end-user markets

N3 v.s. Bearded Vulture

Another road! The N3 is one of South Africa’s busiest highways but it doesn’t seem to be coping with its load. Now the proposed solution threatens the lives of one of the last breeding pairs of Bearded Vultures in the Free State.  The new road will travel 2km away from Nelsonskop, the mountaintop upon which these vultures breed. Diverting traffic away from the N3 along this proposed route will destroy pristine wetlands, sensitive bird areas as well as many other threatened species and the land in which the vultures find food. The N3-alternative is a point of contention for ecologists, residents and businesses alike.  We visit the Free State to take a closer look!

 Sekgweng

In this week’s “Sekgweng” segment, Johann takes us to see some of the smaller elements in the veld. While homeowners live in fear of these tiny creatures, termites are a fascinating part of the fallen leaves, fungi and soil. Ever wondered what it is, that looks like an old man has caught his beard on a branch? Johann also braves the underside of a rock to explain the rather scary world of scorpions to us.

VeldFokus

 

 

 

What’s for lunch? This week’s Veldfokus looks at some clever birds (and some not so clever ones) and their snacks. We also have our first winner for the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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