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Namibian Wildlife Crimes article archive

This archive of published media articles about wildlife crime in Namibia aims to:

  • provide easy public access to published information and statistics
  • enable easy stakeholder access to articles
  • provide a comprehensive archive of wildlife crime reporting in Namibia

Public access to information is a vital component of ensuring community engagement in prevalent issues. Wildlife crime is one of the pressing environmental issues of our time.

Wildlife crime investigations are generally covert operations requiring utmost confidentiality to succeed. Investigations and prosecutions in complex cases may take months or even years to complete. For this reason, the information that can be released to the public without compromising cases is often limited. Nonetheless, the Namibian government strives to share as much information as possible with the public.

The Namibian media has welcomed this approach and regularly publishes statistics and feature articles on wildlife crime. These are entered into the database at regular intervals, creating a comprehensive archive of wildlife crime reporting in Namibia.

Explore your search results using the filter checkboxes, or amend your search or start a new search.

Displaying results 1 - 50 of 1382
Thursday, 25 November 2021
2021. How building a network of wildlife crime law enforcement is reducing the illegal wildlife trade.

European Union-backed conservation project has trained a new frontline to fight to protect nature across five African nations.

Thursday, 25 November 2021
Hutchings M 2021. Almost 900kgs of South African rhino horns destined for Asian countries seized between 2014 and 2021.

The Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana has revealed that over the past 10 years, rhino horns weighing 865kg were seized during Sars Customs border operations between 2014 and 2021. Countries where rhino horns have been trafficked to include Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Dubai, Turkey and Nigeria.

Thursday, 25 November 2021
DiLonardo MJ 2021. How dogs are fighting rhino poaching.

In the war on poaching, some of the best defenders have four legs. Trained canines are used in some of South Africa's national parks to detect wildlife contraband like rhino horns, pangolin scales, and ivory at airports and roadblocks. Other dogs are trained to track and apprehend poachers in the field. According to Save the Rhino, 9,885 rhinos have been lost to poaching in the last decade. But Carl Thornton, founder and director of Pit-Track K9 Conservation and Anti-Poaching Unit, says the numbers are likely much higher.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Tipping-Woods D 2021. New #Wildeye tool tracks wildlife crime in Southern Africa.

Wildlife crime in Southern Africa has become easier to track and harder to hide, after the launch of Africa's first geomapping tool designed to follow court cases and convictions in the region.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Pillay Y 2021. Environmental organisations raise concern over ivory trade after suspects arrested in Ballito.

Durban - Environmental organisations have welcomed the arrest of two suspects found in possession of ivory with a street value of R400 000 in Ballito last week. It is alleged that the suspects were trying to sell elephant tusks and were arrested after an undercover operation.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021
2021. Businessman gets 5 years for unlawful possession of dried elephant meat.

The Livingstone Subordinate Court has sentenced a Lusaka businessman of Garden-Chilulu compound to five years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of 196 kilograms of dried elephant meat. Ministry of Tourism Sakabilo Kalembwe has told #Mwebantu in a statement, that the businessman has also been sentenced to one year-six months imprisonment to run concurrently for escaping lawful custody in 2019 after being arrested for unlawful possession of 241 kgs of elephant ivory

Tuesday, 23 November 2021
Hattingh E 2021. Bloedbad op plase.

Honde wat skape tydens strooptogte verskeur, lewende beeste waarvan die hakskene afgekap is en of wat in draadstrukke wurg, asook wild wat met assegaaie gesteek word en lydsaam vrek - dit is aan die orde van die dag op Namibiese plase. Selfs dragtige diere word nie deur stropers en diewe gespaar nie, terwyl landbouers net magteloos moet toekyk. Meer as 90 mense oraloor die land het Republikein die afgelope twee weke gekontak nadat vrae as deel van ‘n informele opname in die sosiale media oor vee- en wilddiefstal gestel is.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021
2021. Sieben Schuppentierpanzer beschlagnahmt.

Die Polizei hat einen Mann am vergangenen Freitag in Katutura festgenommen, der im Besitz von sieben Schuppentierpanzern war. Das geht aus dem Polizeibericht vom Wochenende hervor. Der Verdächtige soll versucht haben, die Panzer zu verkaufen. Er habe die Exemplare einem verdeckten Polizeibeamten angeboten. Daraufhin sei der Mann in Gewahrsam genommen worden. Der Verdächtige sollte am Montag vor dem Amtsgericht in Katutura erscheinen. Die polizeilichen Ermittlungen dauern weiter an. Schuppentiere gelten zu den in Namibia streng geschützten Tierarten.

Sunday, 21 November 2021
Maromo J 2021. German nationals arrested for catching and trading in protected lizards, geckos and tortoises.

Pretoria - Two German nationals are appearing in court on Monday, after being arrested near Askham, Northern Cape for the illegal trade and possession of reptiles and controlled substances. The men were nabbed while illegally catching and trading in reptiles, including Armadillo girdled lizards which are a threatened and protected species, geckos and tortoises in the Northern Cape "with the intention to smuggle them" out of South Africa into the lucrative international exotic pet trade.

Sunday, 21 November 2021
Seleka N 2021. 'What they are doing is sad and emotional' - poachers use snares to trap animals in Kruger Park.

Poachers have turned to snare trapping to capture animals in the Kruger National Park, including some endangered species, and use poisoned carcases to lure them. Many of the trapped animals die and their carcasses rot. Rangers and other officials have been combing through the 19 485 km² Kruger National Park, which houses the country's Big Five, in search of injured and trapped animals. Poachers have targeted almost all sections of the park. Wild dogs, lions and small antelopes are some of the animals that have been trapped.

Sunday, 21 November 2021
2021. All hands on deck against rhino poaching.

In the past three years, gun battles between rhino poachers and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) rangers have killed about 20 people. Wildlife economists say a country like Zimbabwe, which has a large rhino population, needs to continue to remain alert as the endangered species to be under threat from poachers. According to America-based wildlife organisation, World Animal Foundation, the rhino horn is estimated at US$65 000 per kg, which is more than the value of gold or diamonds.

Friday, 19 November 2021
Motlhoka T 2021. Botswana struggles with rising cases of rhino poaching.

Poaching intensified over the past three years following the 2018 decision by the government to disarm the anti-poaching unit under the DWNP. The 100+ rhinos poached since the disarmament represents a 100+ percent increase in poaching incidents when compared to the previous three years when Botswana lost one rhino per annum in the preceding 2015, 2016, and 2017 when the unit had firearms. There were at least 12 rhinos poached in 2018, 29 rhinos in 2019, and over 50 poached by the end of 2020.

Friday, 19 November 2021
Motlhabane C 2021. Illegal ivory dealer jailed for two years.

A sense of remorse and a convincing mitigation statement have saved a convicted ivory dealer from a lengthy jail term as he got off lightly with a reduced sentence. Poul Garirayi would have been condemned to a mandatory 10-year maximum jail term and a hefty fine for the elephant tusks valued at P10 233.22 that he was found in possession of.

Thursday, 18 November 2021
2021. Man arrested for possession of pangolin skin at Rundu.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on Monday morning after allegedly being found in possession of a protected wildlife product at Rundu in the Kavango East Region. The Namibian Police Force's Chief Inspector in the Kavango East Region, Melanie Mburu told Nampa on Tuesday that the suspect was found in possession of a pangolin skin at Rundu's Ngandu Lodge at around 11h30.

Thursday, 18 November 2021
Muronzi C 2021. Can NFTs help save rhinos from poachers?.

A rhino conservationist has turned to the world of non-fungible tokens to help fund efforts to keep poachers at bay.

Thursday, 18 November 2021
2021. South Africa: Report identifies role-players in South African wildlife crime.

Cape Town - Game rangers, vets, casino staff, construction and transport industry workers, as well as customs and other government officials, have been identified as role-players in the ecosystem of illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products according to a report by the South African Anti-Money Laundering Integrated Task Force.

Thursday, 18 November 2021
Ngwenya T 2021. Two men nabbed with rhino horn in Gauteng testify that police solicited a R30K bribe to release them.

Police who arrested two men carrying a rhino horn on a highway near Witbank allegedly demanded a R30,000 bribe to release them.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021
2021. Männer wegen Besitzes von Pythonhäuten verhaftet.

Zwei Männer im Alter von 26 und 37 Jahren wurden am vergangenen Freitag im Dorf Nkonke in der Kavango-West-Region verhaftet, weil sie im Besitz von drei Pythonhäuten waren. Der Wert beläuft sich laut dem Bericht auf 90 000 N$. Die Verdächtigen sollten am Montag vor dem Magistratsgericht von Rundu erscheinen. 

Two men, aged 26 and 37, were arrested last Friday in the village of Nkonke in the Kavango West Region for possessing three python skins. The value is according to the report at N $ 90,000. The suspects were due to appear before the Rundu Municipal Court on Monday.…

Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Masweneng K 2021. Money laundering and wads of cash giving illegal wildlife traders the upper hand.

"It is not uncommon for the money flows associated with illegal wildlife trade (IWT) to be linked to other crimes, such as fraudulent documentation or paperwork, trade-based money laundering including over-, under-, or fictitious invoicing, as well as corruption to facilitate the inflow of funds into SA," said the report. It emphasised that wildlife and wildlife products from SA are in high demand globally, with China and other Asian countries representing the largest markets.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Ngema T 2021. Two suspects arrested in posh Zimbali Eco Estate for dealing in elephant tusks.

Durban - Two suspects were arrested in the posh Zimbali Eco Estate, on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, for dealing in elephant tusks.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021
Muronga P 2021. Two men arrested with three python skins granted bail.

Two men arrested for allegedly being in possession of three python skins at Nkonke village were on Monday granted bail during their first court appearance in the Kahenge Periodic Court.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021
Marriah-Maharaj J 2021. Missing suspected poacher may have jumped into St Lucia Lake to avoid arrest.

Durban: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said the search was on for a suspected poacher, who may jumped into St Lucia Lake to avoid arrest.

Monday, 15 November 2021
Smit E 2021. African elephant poaching lowest in 17 years.

Elephant poaching in Africa has fallen to the lowest level since 2003. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species programme for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) published its annual analysis of continental and sub-regional trends in the levels of poaching. This is derived from data collected at 95 MIKE sites across 43 elephant range states in Africa, including Namibia, and Asia.

Saturday, 13 November 2021
Ndebele L 2021. Census to shed light on elephant population in southern Africa.

A wildlife nature reserve covering Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola will undertake a loose elephant census next year at the cost of $3 million. The aerial survey by the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) directorate will help in managing elephants that freely roam across member states. "The elephant population of KAZA represents more than 50% of the remaining savanna elephants (Loxodonta Africana) found in Africa, a species recently listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as globally endangered.

Friday, 12 November 2021
Siamilandu O 2021. Africa urged to fight wildlife trafficking.

African governments have been urged to jointly fight wildlife trafficking by coming up with legislation and policies that curb the vice. Leading international wildlife conservation body, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) on Tuesday told journalists attending a wildlife reporting training programme in Harare that laws should be crafted to impose stiffer sentences on wildlife poachers and traffickers. The participants were from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.

Friday, 12 November 2021
2021. Duo in court over ivory.

Two men appeared in court today on allegations of illegally possessing elephant tusks worth US$2 497 they intended to trade in Harare's city centre. Nkululeko Chuma (40) and Tawenga Dandambira (40) appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Tafadzwa Miti charged with unlawful possession of unmarked raw ivory.

Thursday, 11 November 2021
Stoddard E 2021. This week we're listening to: A riveting and disturbing foray into South Africa's rhino-poaching crisis.
Tuesday, 9 November 2021
2021. Grausame Schlingenstellerei - Abwesende Farmer befördern Wilderei.

Immer wieder sind Farmen in Namibia von starker Wilderei betroffen. Am meisten unter gehäuften Tötungen leiden Farmen, deren Nachbarfarmen von Nicht-Namibiern bewohnt werden, die die meiste Zeit im Ausland leben. Dieser Umstand wird von Wilderen systematisch ausgenutzt, um Farmgrenzen zu übertreten und einer strafrechtlichen Verfolgung zu entkommen. Ein Beispiel für diese Situation ist die Gästefarm Ameib, die Hagen Denker gehört.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021
2021. Two foreign nationals arrested for trafficking ivory and rhinoceros horn as part of international operation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The 11-count indictment alleges that Lokua and Mujangi worked with a middleman to smuggle four packages into the United States. In August and September, 2020, the defendants sent three shipments containing a total of about 49 pounds of ivory by air freight to Seattle. In May 2021, they sent another package with approximately five pounds of rhinoceros horn. At the same time, the defendants conspired to conduct large transactions via ocean freight, offering the buyer more than two tons of elephant ivory, one ton of pangolin scales, and multiple intact rhinoceros horns. On Nov.

Monday, 8 November 2021
Carter M 2021. Seattle grand jury indicts two Congolese men for allegedly smuggling poached ivory, rare white rhino horns.

Two foreign nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo were arrested outside Seattle last week and indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly smuggling elephant ivory and rhino horns into the United States.

Monday, 8 November 2021
McCain N 2021. Poachers handed heavy sentences after being found with rhino horns.

Two rhino poachers have been sentenced to an effective 16 years' imprisonment each. The men were arrested in February when rangers from the Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge sections of the Kruger National Park reacted after three armed suspects were seen entering the park by crossing the border between South Africa and Mozambique, said police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

Monday, 8 November 2021
Holland H Congo seizes $3.5 mln of ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scales.

Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo have seized $3.5 million worth of ivory, rhinoceros horn and pangolin scales in a joint operation with United States officials, the U.S. embassy in Kinshasa said on Monday. Two wildlife traffickers were also arrested in the United States on Nov. 4, following a more than two-year investigation between the two countries and global police agency Interpol.

Saturday, 6 November 2021
2021. Kenya is Africa's gate for illegal wildlife trade - Sentry.

Kenya remains a leading spot for laundering proceeds of illegal wildlife trafficking, logging, and fishing in Africa, a report on illicit financial flow by Sentry shows. Dubbed 'Kenya Illicit Finance Risk and Assessment', the report says the country acts as a transshipment site for East Africa. According to the report, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, DRC, Zambia and South Sudan traffic their wildlife products via Kenya heading to Asian countries including China and Hong Kong via Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.

Friday, 5 November 2021
2021. Airlink joins fight against wildlife trade.

Airlink, the privately owned Southern African regional airline, will implement a company-wide programme involving training, new processes and supply chain interventions to identify and combat illicit wildlife trade. The illegal wildlife trade is valued between USD $50 to 150 billion (approximately between ZAR730 billion - ZAR 2,19 trillion at current exchange rates) per year and is one of the five most lucrative global crimes. Illegal killing and trading of wild animals is a global crisis, with species being hunted to extinction for their horns, skins and teeth.

Thursday, 4 November 2021
Smit E 2021. 12 arrested for wildlife crimes.

Five men were arrested last week for conspiring to poach a rhino, while another was found guilty of illegal possession and dealing in python skins. He will have to cough up N$7 000 or spend 20 months behind bars. Meanwhile, three Namibians were arrested at Epukiro when they were found in possession of two live pangolins on 29 October. Tjovanga Kamburona, Tjarirove Kamburona and Nguvarua Tjombe were all charged for the illegal possession and dealing of controlled wildlife products.

Thursday, 4 November 2021
2021. Pangolin trafficking: Iceberg tip of Nigeria's illegal trade revealed.

Since the first reported pangolin seizure in Nigeria in 2010, the country has seen an explosion in the black market for the world's most trafficked mammal - becoming Africa's hub for the criminal export of pangolin products to East Asia. Use of pangolin scales in traditional Chinese medicines has resulted in Asian species declining dramatically this century.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021
2021. Over 200 poachers arrested in Tanzania's largest national park.

At least 230 poachers and illegal fishermen were arrested in Tanzania's Ruaha National Park, the largest national park in the country covering 20,226, in 2020/2021, an official said.

Monday, 1 November 2021
Bunyan R 2021. The rhino with tears in his eyes: Heartbreaking images show a 4,500lb Southern White rhino 'weeping in pain' after poachers hacked off his horn and removed part of the bone in his skull in South African game reserve.

Heartbreaking images show a rhino with tears running down its face after its horn was hacked off by cruel poachers in South Africa. The 4,500lb male Southern White rhino was left with a gruesome open wound and also had parts of the bone in its skull removed when it was attacked and left for dead in a game reserve.

Friday, 29 October 2021
Zulu M 2021. Community wildlife conservation programs should go beyond meetings, self-help projects and poacher arrests.

A number of approaches have been used to safeguard different natural resources. Use, and vulnerability mainly depends on its social, and economic value. Wildlife, considerably more valuable- has generated a lot of interest as concerned parties try to apply different approaches to ensure that it is protected. It is unfortunate that some of the wildlife species, like animals' numbers that dwindled because human beings always target them as a means of survival or tampered with their habitats.

Thursday, 28 October 2021
2021. PN detained two men with 10 rhino horns that they intended to sell for 4 million Kz - It was necessary to kill 10 animals at serious risk of extinction to obtain them.

The Criminal Offenses Investigation Directorate (DIIP) detained in flagrante two nationals in possession of 10 rhinoceros horns that would be sold for four million Kwanzas, in the Nambambi neighborhood, on the outskirts of the city of Lubango, Huíla province, this Thursday said. fair to the police.

Thursday, 28 October 2021
2021. Rwanda arrests 4 poachers with elephant tusks.

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) on Wednesday paraded before media a group of suspects including; Murokozi Desire, Gisa Derrick, Kaburaburyo Cyriaqué a Burundian national and Nicodem Bagabo from Democratic Republic of Congo. The three were found in possession with a consignment of elephant tusks. According to World Wildlife Fund -a leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species, poachers kill about 20,000 elephants every single year for their tusks, which are then traded illegally in the international market to eventually end up as ivory trinkets.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Zenda C 2021. Continued African rhino loses alarm conservationists.

A 24 percent decline in the number of white rhinos over the past decade has caused wildlife conservationists to panic over the future of the endangered pachyderms on the African continent. Despite concerted efforts made by most African states to protect their rhinoceros populations, an International Rhino Foundation (IRF) report has revealed that rhino numbers continue to drop due to poaching.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Smit E 2021. 23 arrested for wildlife crimes.

According to the report, three Namibians were arrested on 15 October at Katima Mulilo for being in the possession of a live pangolin. Chika Ilukena, Mayuni and Nicky Mundia were charged with illegal possession and dealing of controlled wildlife products. At Witvlei, three Namibians were arrested on 16 October when they were caught with an oryx carcass.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021
2021. Tanzania gets grant for projects of fighting poaching, improving water access.

Germany on Tuesday granted Tanzania 71 million Euros (about 82.3 million U.S. dollars) for financing various projects, including those initiated to fight poaching and prevent human-wildlife conflicts. An agreement to the grant was signed in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam by Tanzania’s deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Amina Shaaban, and Marcus von Essen, head of the East Africa Division in the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021
2021. Two arrested for possessing Pangolin in Mangochi.

Mangochi Police have arrested Group Village Headman Maundu aged 49 and Rashid White Jusa, 55, over possession of pangolin.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021
Hattingh E 2021. Witvlei-boere: Regstelsel faal ons.

Boere in die Witvlei-omgewing is opnuut moedeloos met 'n vlaag van vee- en wildmisdaad oor die afgelope maand, terwyl hulle sê die regstelsel misluk daarin om enige beskerming aan hulle of hul eiendom te bied.

Farmers in the Witvlei area are once again discouraged with a spate of livestock and game crime over the past month, saying the legal system is failing to provide any protection to them or their property.

Sunday, 24 October 2021
Mguni M 2021. Botswana moves rhinos out of Okavango Delta as poaching worsens.

The Botswana government is moving rhinos out of the Okavango Delta after a surge in poaching that has seen 92 of the endangered animals killed in the past two years, compared to just seven in 2010 to 2018. The delta is one of two World Heritage Sites in the southern African country, a 20,000 square-kilometer (7,700 square-mile) wetland populated by 130 animal species, including white and black rhinos. It's Botswana's premier tourist attraction and the rhinos are a major drawcard.

Sunday, 24 October 2021
Mabuza E 2021. Department welcomes hefty sentences imposed on three rhino poachers.

The department of forestry, fisheries and the environment has welcomed the hefty sentences handed down by a North West court to three rhino poachers on Wednesday. The Mogwase regional court handed down sentences of 85 years each to Mozambican nationals Arlindo Muhlanga, Adam Hlongwane and Gamula Chauke. The men were arrested in 2018 after the poaching and dehorning of three white rhino cows in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Friday, 22 October 2021
Smit E 2021. 20 wildlife products seized from 9 suspects.

According to the latest wildlife crime report, Petrus van Rensburg was arrested at Ariamsvlei on 9 October with 10 oryx carcasses. He was charged for the illegal hunting of huntable game. In another incident, Kaserandu Tjiumbua was arrested at Kamdesha on 10 October for poisoning four lions and two spotted hyenas. He was charged with illegal hunting of game and for administering poison. At Rundu, Dominikus Ndara was arrested on 11 October for being in the possession of a python skin. He was charged for the illegal possession and dealing of controlled wildlife products.

Friday, 22 October 2021
Kooper L 2021. Elephant conservation efforts yield results, Shifeta.

Environment, forestry and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta has revealed that Namibia's elephant population has grown to an estimated 23 736 since independence.