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Nelson Mandela and the Power of Forgiveness

South Africans, and with them many the world over, are mourning the passing of the father of the all-race democracy that came to be known as the “New South Africa”. Children grueved at the loss of their favorite grandfather. It has always been one of the most remarkable features of the life and times of…

South Africa Regroups in War on Rhino Horn Poachers

Relentless poaching is threatening to claim more rhinos in South Africa this year than ever before. But there is hope that a comprehensive strategy to fight the criminals could start reversing the sickening trend.

Worsening Rhino war Strains Countries’ Relations




The growing incursion of rhino poachers from Mozambique into South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park is beginning to strain relations between the two countries. South African security operatives trying to stem the relentless killing of the enigmatic animals speak of it as a “border war”. They are getting increasingly fed-up with Mozambique’s security agencies for not doing more to clamp down on the poachers and the rhino-horn smugglers on their side of the boundary.

Record 618 South African Rhinos Poached for Horns in 2012, so far

The number of rhinos killed for their horns in South Africa so far this year has shot up to 618. This is well past last year’s shock record of 448 and substantially more than the tally of 550 predicted at the beginning of 2012. And still there is no sign of the onslaught letting up.…

Shellfish Poaching Fuels Illicit Economy in South Africa

The tough shellfish known as abalone is highly prized as a delicacy in the Far East, where it is fetches excessive prices. Poachers picking abalone off the rocky shallows of South Africa’s southern coast have become brazen, plying their illegal trade in open view in daylight. Is the abalone trade fueling its own economy through corruption and big spending by the poachers?

Is Tourism Good for South Africa’s Great White Sharks?

Shark cage-diving has become big business in South Africa, luring visitors from all parts of the world. Conservationists say that the tourism could be good for the overall image people have of sharks, and the ecosystems the predators need to survive.

Record 443 Rhinos Killed by Poachers in South Africa in 2011

It has been a bad year for rhinos in South Africa. Many more got killed than in 2010, the 333 toll of which was described with words like “shocking” and “outrageous”. Most thought it couldn’t get worse.

It’s got much worse. The tally for 2011 is at least 433. It could end up being higher, for even as the year drew to a close, reports kept coming in of more dead rhinos found with gruesome wounds or just stumps left where their horns had been.

Durban Climate Talks to Aim for Pragmatic Results

The annual United Nations meeting to assess progress in dealing with climate change convenes in Durban, South Africa, next week. The meeting is known formally as the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as…

Five African Nations Sign Up for Conservation Zone the Size of California

Five southern African countries have signed into place the region’s biggest and most ambitious transfrontier conservation project yet. It covers a sparsely populated region of 444,000 square kilometers (171,429 square miles; slightly larger than California) that comprises some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent.

South African Court Jails Rhino Horn Smugglers

A South African court effectively threw away the key when it jailed two smugglers convicted of trying to smuggle rhino horns out of the country. But the slaughter of the country’s pachyderms for the spurious healing power of their horns continues unchecked. A new scheme allegedly involves sex workers posing as trophy hunters seeking to harvest rhino horns through a legal loophole.

South Africa’s Rhino Slaughter Rages on

The shadow of rhino poaching keeps darkening the magnificent landscape that places South Africa among the most biodiverse countries in the world. Already the figure for the year so far stands at about 200 rhinos killed. This has conservationists fearing that the toll for the year could end up exceeding the shocking 333 killed last year.

South Africa’s Enigmatic Big Cats Under Growing Threat

Leopard and cheetah are two of southern Africa’s most enigmatic cat species. But both are under growing threat from livestock farmers, trophy hunters and both the legal and illegal trade in wildlife species. Now conservationists are pushing for tighter controls.

Rhinos Continue to Die, Even as South Africa Steps Up War on Poachers

From Leon Marshall in Johannesburg The assault on South Africa’s rhino population has continued unabated into 2011. After last year’s massacre of 333 of the country’s rhino herd, the death toll since the beginning of 2011 already stands at a disheartening 71 of the seriously endangered species. This is higher than at the same time…

Sad Saga of South Africa’s Flufftail

From Leon Marshall in Johannesburg It is a relatively small bird, no bigger than a dove, and extraordinarily shy. It is merely a summer visitor to South Africa, but even so the white-winged flufftail carries enormous weight. It has come to be known by the country’s conservation fraternity as “the little bird that stopped a…

Rare Tigers Raised in Africa to be “Rewilded” in China

Critically Endangered South China tiger cubs born in captivity in China, but raised in South Africa where they were taught to hunt for their food, are soon to be introduced into a controlled wilderness in their native country. The many people involved, at considerable effort and expense, hope that the experiment will show the way to not only…