Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Thursday offered a reward of 60,000 Namibia dollars (3,816 U.S. dollars) for information leading to the arrest of wildlife poachers in the country. Minister of Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said seven rhinos and six elephants were poached in the first two months of this year in syndicate-based activities.
He said the poaching involved foreigners who were well-linked with middlemen within Namibia, and hired local community members. “As in any criminal setup, it is difficult to pinpoint those involved until the syndicates are well understood and their modus operandi exposed,” he said. “We remain committed and we will ensure that these criminals are caught, but most importantly ensure that wildlife crime is prevented,” he added.
Currently the ministry uses aerial, vehicle and foot patrols to find wildlife carcasses. Etosha National Park, a hub of local tourism, is often targeted by poachers. Police on Tuesday said they had found 34 rhino carcasses in the country in January and February, 29 of them in Etosha National Park. The cause of their deaths is still under investigation.