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  • Publiceret: 9 jun. 2013
  • Opdateret: 28 nov. 2013
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3. Great Kruger National Park

Great Kruger National Park

Great Kruger National Park, or just Kruger Park, is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It was first protected by the government of South African Republic in 1898 and was made South Africa’s first national park in 1926. It is located in the northeast of South Africa in the province Limpopo and Mpumalanga.  It is the home of 147 different mammals (including the Big –Five) and is so the national park in Africa with the largest amount of big mammal species. It has 104 different types of reptiles and 507 different types of birds.

As everywhere in Africa the rhinos are in great danger of being killed and lose their horns to poachers. To defend the rhinos and the rest of the animals Kruger Park has established an anti-poaching unit that consist of 650 SANParks game rangers, 2 drones and 2 helicopters. The poachers operate with night vision instruments and large caliber rifles, fitted with suppressors and telescopes. The poachers mostly operate at full moon and kill both white and black rhinos. A rhino horn is worth between 66.000 and 82.000 dollars per kilogram and a ban of the trade of rhino horns has not had any success. A planned agreement has been made with China and Vietnam, which are seen as milestones in stopping the smuggling of rhino horns.

Between 2001 and 2012, 949 rhinos were killed in Kruger Park. Alone in 2012, 200 poachers were arrested and 30 were killed in confrontations. South Africa’s 22.000 black and white rhinos, of which 12.000 are found in Kruger Park, represent 93% of the specie’s entire world population. The first ranger to die in an anti-poaching operation was a Kruger game ranger along with a police officer in July of 2012. Since 2009 invisible tracking have been placed in the horns and bodies of some rhinos, which makes it possible for the rangers to track the smuggled horns and canvasses by satellite.

The black rhino is around 140-180cm tall, 300- 375 cm long and weighs between 1-1,3 tons. There isn’t much difference between the genders, so this counts for both. It has two horns, of which the one in the front can grow to a length of 130cm.

The white rhino is around 170-183cm tall, 325-420cm long. The males weighs between 2-2,3 tons and the female around 1,6 tons. It also has to horns, by which the one most to front is an average of 60cm, bur can get to a length 150 cm. the white rhino is not called ‘’white’’ because of its colour, but because of its ‘’wide’’ mouth. Somewhere along in history ‘’wide’’ eventualy became ‘’white’’.

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