The Bush Times – Cut the Head off the Snake

The last three weeks has been extremely productive for not only Sabie Game Park but the entire GLC (Greater Libombo Conservancy), the GLTP (Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park) and Conservation area as well as South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

The 22nd of April 2017 marked an important date in terms of a conservation movement. The GLC became part of the GLTP and conservation area. The former 100 000km2 GLTP and Conservation area has now extended southwards from Massingir dam as far as the Ressano Garcia border post adding nine more properties with Sabie Game Park being one of them.

What’s the significance of this?

Well in simple terms the GLC has now become part of a much bigger movement, both physically and politically. Thus, more doors have been opened. For one, this means that many more resources become available such as a larger scope and knowledge of conservation-minded people and ideas.

At the forefront of this movement is the battle against rhino poaching. This is an issue faced by wildlife areas throughout the world. Here at Sabie we pride ourselves on our anti-poaching operations, and together with the GLC, these efforts have been one of the most influential in helping us become part of the GLTP and Conservation area.

On the 9th of March 2017, Sabie Game Park welcomed the Vietnamese Chief Prosecutor, Nguyen Hoa Binh, as well as other delegates from his office. Other officials were the Chief Prosecutor for Mozambique, the Prosecutor for the district of Moamba in Mozambique as well as the Vietnamese Ambassador currently based in Maputo. Members from the Administracao Nacional de Areas de Conservacao (ANAC) in Mozambique were also present including Doctor Carlos Pereira. Altogether the delegation consisted of 21 people who had come to get an inside look at a reserve that is on the front line of preventing rhino poaching.

Vietnam has been labelled in the media as a country that is somewhat involved with rhino horn trade, predominantly as a stopover point before reaching final destinations. So why would a Vietnamese delegation come to a reserve to get the inside scoop on rhino poaching?

After the meeting, it was clear that these guys meant business and that they were on our side. This is an ideal opportunity to cut the head off the snake. To tackle a problem at the source.

Do not mistake me though, we have not solved the puzzle. What this does create, however, is another angle of attack. Something different. We can only do our best and hope that a very powerful ally has now joined the fight.

The delegation arriving in full force
An informal meet and greet before proceedings got underway
Steve Alexander, Yvonne Ubisi and Ferdie Terblanche speaking about the current situation of human/wildlife conflict, particularly the the effects of rhino poaching and the surrounding communities
Showing off our beautiful reserve from the seat of a helicopter
Steve Alexander shakes hands with Vietnamese Chief Prosecutor, Nguyen Hoa Binh, after a successful meeting
Sean Van Niekerk gives a presentation on how the Anti-poaching operations (Dyck Advisory Group) work on Sabie Game Park

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