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Namibian Wildlife Crime 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.

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    Displaying results 1 - 50 of 698
    Saturday, 11 July 2020
    Murphy F, Maclean W Illegal ivory trade shrinks while Pangolin trafficking booms, U.N. Says.

    The illegal global trade in ivory has shrunk while the trafficking of pangolins has soared, a U.N.

    Friday, 10 July 2020
    Shihepo T 2020. Nam anti-poaching gets 'bite'.

    Namibia has recorded a drastic reduction in poaching in the past three years because of improved response mechanisms. Most of the success is attributed to the Environment and Tourism Ministry's efforts to upscale law enforcement components of conservation. Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta said anti-poaching canine units (the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Dog Unit) had been deployed to good effect. "The Dog Unit is part of our anti-poaching initiatives.

    Friday, 10 July 2020
    Steynberg F 2020. Honde trek menige wildstropers vas - Teenstropery-eenheid suksesvol.

    Die vyf honde wat in 2017 deur die ministerie van die omgewing, bosbou en toerisme ingespan is om met teenstropery te help, het reeds in 52 wildstroperysake verdagtes vasgetrek. Die minister, mnr. Pohamba Shifeta, het Woensdag in die hoofstad gesê in die mees onlangse voorval het vier honde van die eenheid, naamlik Alex, Benno, Baron en Nora, vermeende renosterstropers op ’n plaas aangrensend tot die Waterberg-platopark vasgetrek.

    Friday, 10 July 2020
    Smit E 2020. Anti-poaching dog unit given teeth.

    Four new dogs will be imported from the Netherlands to beef up the environment ministry's anti-poaching dog unit, which has helped arrest suspects in 52 poaching cases so far. The four dogs at Waterberg are trained to search buildings, vehicles, luggage and open areas for firearms, ammunition and illegal wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales and bush meat.

    Thursday, 9 July 2020
    2020. Special cruiser for special unit brings dogs quicker on the trail of poachers.

    One of the pillars in the fight against poaching, the K-9 unit of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, this week received a customised Land Cruiser to make deployment of the tracker dogs faster.

    Thursday, 9 July 2020
    Ngatjiheue C, Shikongo A 2020. Rhino, elephant poaching cases down.

    Namibia has recorded a drastic drop in rhino and elephant poaching cases in the past three years because of improved response mechanisms, the government said yesterday. Minister of environment Pohamba Shifeta said the country has seen a reduction in rhino poaching numbers from 78 cases in 2018, 49 in 2019 and 17 so far this year.

    Thursday, 9 July 2020
    Smit E 2020. Poaching incidents declining - Shifeta.

    Namibia is experiencing a reduction in wildlife poaching incidents, while more arrests have been recorded. This is according to environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, who gave a breakdown of rhino, elephant and pangolin poaching incidents and arrests dating back to 2018. This year, 17 rhinos have been poached, compared to 46 last year and 78 in 2018. A total of 89 suspects has been arrested for rhino poaching cases this year, compared to 175 last year and 109 in 2018. Shifeta said 15 rhino horns have been seized this year, compared to eight last year and 16 in 2018.

    Thursday, 9 July 2020
    2020. Großer Beitrag zum Kampf gegen die Wilderei.

    Die Standard Bank hat dem Umweltministerium ein Geländefahrzeug im Wert von 840000 Namibia-Dollar gespendet, das für Einsätze der Antiwilderei-Hundeeinheit im Kampf gegen organisierte Umweltverbrechen vorgesehen ist. Der Umweltminister, Pohamba Shifeta, nahm den Schüssel des Toyota Land Cruisers, der speziell auf die Bedürfnisse der Einheit abgestimmt wurde, gestern in Windhoek entgegen und übergab ihn an die Hundebetreuer.

    Thursday, 9 July 2020
    2020. Anti-poaching drive gets boost from local partners - MEFT Dog Unit contributes to the fight.

    The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism’s anti poaching campaign specifically the Dog Unit, was this week beefed up when they received a Toyota Land Cruiser Double CAB V8 from Standard Bank as well as donations from other organisations. The other organizations namely SWAVET, MDS Animal Health and Rhino Park Private Hospital also donated vital veterinary amenities for the dogs which included drugs and food to the Canine Unit.

    Thursday, 9 July 2020
    Steynberg F 2020. Botswana skiet vier stropers - Ondersoek na vreemde olifantsterftes.

    Die weermag van Botswana (BDF) het vier stropers in drie afsonderlike voorvalle in die Okavango-delta doodgeskiet. Volgens 'n mediaverklaring van die BDF het die voorvalle oor sewe dae tussen 22 en 29 Junie plaasgevind toe heen en weer tussen die weermag en stopers geskiet is. "Die kontakgebiede was by Mombo, Kurunxaraga en die Selina-oorloop in die gebied van Linyanti. Daar is ’n onrusbarende oplewing van renosterstropery in die Okavango-delta en stropers volhard met genadelose taktieke met BDF-lede as teiken," lui die verklaring.

    Wednesday, 8 July 2020
    2020. Twee vas oor olifanttande.

    Volgens die weeklikse wildmisdaadverslag vanaf 29 Junie tot 6 Julie is twee nuwe wildmisdaadsake aanhangig gemaak en vier verdagtes in hegtenis geneem. Mnre. Alfred Renatius Haipos Langendorf en Gotrieb Ndikwetepo Shishitwomunhu is op 30 Junie glo met twee olifanttande in hul besit in Windhoek in hegtenis geneem. Die polisie het ook beslag op 'n voertuig gelê.

    Wednesday, 8 July 2020
    Smit E 2020. B2Gold project steps in to save rhinos.

    Local organisations supporting conservation in Namibia have seen their budgets slashed by up to 30%, as the coronavirus pandemic significantly impacts the world's economy. Among these organisations are Save the Rhino Trust Namibia (SRT), Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) and the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), which provide critical field-based support to trackers and rhino rangers.

    Tuesday, 7 July 2020
    Shikongo A 2020. Environment ministry receives donation for Canine Unit.

    The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism today received a donation of a vehicle and vetenary drugs for the ministry's Canine Unit, aimed at supporting anti-poaching efforts. The two donations were made by Standard Bank and Swavet, MDS Animal Health and the Rhino Park Private Hospital, at a handover ceremony hosted in Windhoek today. "From a detection perspective, all four dogs [in the Canine Unit] are trained to search buildings, vehicles, baggage and open areas for firearms, ammunition and illegal wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales and bush…

    Monday, 6 July 2020
    Smit E 2020. Optrede teen wildstropery nodig - Implementeer toepaslike wette.

    Die Finansiële Aksie-taakmag beskryf in sy eerste verslag oor wildmisdaad dit as 'n internasionale bedreiging wat verbind kan word met georganiseerde misdaad soos slawerny, dwelm- en wapensmokkelary. Volgens die verslag is daar 'n gebrek aan fokus op die finansiële aspek van wildmisdaad en stel voor alle regerings moet wette op geldwassery implementeer. Die studie se bevindings is gebaseer op die insette van 50 lande, Namibië ingesluit, wat lid is van die Oostelike en Suider-Afrika Teengeldwasserygroep (ESAAMLG). 'n Totaal van 22 uit 45 lande het aangedui dat hulle hulself as 'n…

    Monday, 6 July 2020
    Matthys D 2020. B2Gold supports community-backed rhino conservation efforts in north-west Namibia.

    With conservation funding affected by the lockdown, a number of areas in north-western Namibia’s rhino range have been left exposed by the lack of tourists thus requiring extra patrolling. With the donation of 1,000 ounces of gold by B2Gold, the launch of the B2Gold Rhino Gold Bar in January 2020 and the subsequent sale of 600 bars to local buyers, the B2Gold Rhino Gold Bar Advisory Committee has responded to the crisis.

    Friday, 3 July 2020
    Diaz C 2020. The stronghold for Africa’s elephants is under certain threat.

    As we now know, Botswana is home to a third of Africa's declining elephant population. But, over the last two months, 350 elephant carcasses have been spotted in the Okavango Delta since the start of May. It is a serious worry that over 350 elephants have died with no clear reason and indeed a conservation disaster.
    The world looks at this mysterious deaths and needs to know the real cause of the mass loss of elephants, and what should be done to stop this unnatural disaster, one thing the deaths are unrelated to drought.

    Thursday, 2 July 2020
    Smit E, Steffen S 2020. Wildtierkriminalität im Fokus.

    FATF-Mitgliedsländer sollen illegalen Wildtierhandel bestrafen In einem ersten globalen Bericht über den illegalen Handel mit Wildtieren hat die Arbeitsgruppe für Maßnahmen zur Bekämpfung von Geldwäsche und Terrorismusfinanzierung (Financial Action Task Force, FATF) diesen als globale Bedrohung beschrieben, vergleichbar mit organisierten Verbrechen wie Sklaverei, Drogen- und Waffenhandel.

    Thursday, 2 July 2020
    Miyanicwe C 2020. Ministry boosts giraffe conservation.

    The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) has translocated 30 giraffes to two communal conservancies and a national park. The translocation, which took place last week, is part of the ministry's quest to boost the existing population and increase its genetic diversity.

    Thursday, 2 July 2020
    Denker H 2020. Understanding rhino conservation in Namibia.

    It's important to know that it wasn't always like this – the government, local communities, NGOs, the private sector and international agencies have made a huge investment in rebuilding Namibian rhino populations from historic lows. The black rhino, a frugal browser of herbs and shrubs, was once distributed across most of what is today Namibia. It penetrated the Namib down to the coast along all larger ephemeral and perennial rivers. Its distribution extended from the Nama Karoo in the south to the broad-leaved woodlands and rivers of today's Zambezi region.

    Thursday, 2 July 2020
    Wernick A 2020. Rhino poaching in South Africa declines during coronavirus lockdown.

    In South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic and strict government-imposed lockdown have led to an unexpected consequence: a major decline in rhino poaching. More than 80% of African rhinos remaining in the world are in South Africa, making it the hotspot for rhino poaching. The number of rhinos killed for their horns has been slowly declining over recent years, but the pandemic and lockdown have quelled rhino poaching even more.

    Thursday, 2 July 2020
    2020. Communal Conservancies giraffe populations get boost - 30 giraffes translocated in move to increase genetic diversity.

    The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) translocated 30 giraffes to two communal conservancies and a national park within the month of June. Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda in a statement this week said the translocation took place with the assistance from Du Preez Wild and funding by GCF and Wildlife Conservation Alliance. According to Muyunda the ministry captured and translocated 13 giraffes to Mangetti National Park in Kavango West; three to Okongo Conservancy in Ohangwena and 14 giraffes to…

    Wednesday, 1 July 2020
    Smit E 2020. Illegal wildlife trade must be punished.

    In its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade, the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) has described it as a global threat with links to other organised crimes such as slavery, drug trafficking and the arms trade. The report expressed concern over the lack of focus on the financial aspects of wildlife crime and suggested that all member governments should apply money-laundering laws. The findings of the study are based on inputs from countries in 50 jurisdictions, including Namibia, which is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (…

    Wednesday, 1 July 2020
    Smit E 2020. Nine arrested for wildlife crimes.

    Nine suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes and four new cases were registered last week. Four of the suspects were arrested in connection with rhino poaching or trafficking, while one suspect was arrested and charged with elephant poaching. This is according to the latest statistics provided by the intelligence and investigation unit in the environment ministry and the protected resource division within the safety and security ministry. A total of seven wildlife products were seized, which included a rhino horn, five elephant tusks and a pangolin skin.

    Tuesday, 30 June 2020
    2020. World famous game reserve suffers no Covid-19 poaching casualties (South Africa).

    One of the world’s most famous game reserves, Thula Thula in South Africa, has survived the Covid-19 pandemic without any loss of wild animal to poaching. Francoise Malby-Anthony, who runs the game reserve
    said that she kept on all her anti-poaching staff throughout covid which prevented any animals being killed by poachers.

    Tuesday, 30 June 2020
    2020. Babi-Jünger in Erklärungsnot.

    Der Prozess gegen den der Nashorn-Wilderei beschuldigten Prediger Jackson Babi und dessen mutmaßlichen Komplizen Friza Dumeni, hat gestern eine Wendung genommen, als die Staatsanwaltschaft auch gegen einen Anhänger des selbsternannten Propheten formal Anklage erhoben hat.

    The trial of preacher Jackson Babi, accused of poaching rhino and his alleged accomplice Friza Dumeni, took a turn yesterday when the prosecution also formally charged a supporter of the self-proclaimed prophet.

    Tuesday, 30 June 2020
    2020. 5 olifanttande, 1 renosterhoring gekonfiskeer.

    Die Namibiese polisie het verlede week op vyf olifanttande en een elk renosterhoring, ietermagôvel en ‘n voertuig beslag gelê.

    Last week, Namibian police seized five elephant tusks and one rhinoceros horn, a pangolin skin and a vehicle.

    Monday, 29 June 2020
    2020. Babi, volgeling van omkopery aangekla.

    Die vermeende renosterstroper, pastoor Jackson Babi en een van sy kerkvolgelinge, mnr. Ananias Ananias, het vandag in die Windhoek-landdroshof op twee klagte van die oortreding van die teenkorrupsiewet verskyn. 

    The alleged rhino poacher, pastor Jackson Babi and one of his church followers, Mr. Ananias Ananias, appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court today on two charges of violating the anti-corruption law.

    Monday, 29 June 2020
    Kandovazu E 2020. Prophet appears on attempted bribery charge.

    An attempt by Prophet Jackson Babi to bribe the detective investigating poaching charges against him to bear false testimony in court during his formal bail application, has caused the man of God to sink deeper into legal trouble. Besides an amount of N$13 000 in cash police officers searching the cells during the past weekend also found two mobile phones in the possession of the accused persons while they were incarcerated at the Windhoek Police Station which added even more charges to the accused persons’ charge sheets.

    Friday, 26 June 2020
    Zille P, Bell C 2020. Legalising rhino horn trade will be a disaster.

    A ministerial panel is reviewing policies on international trade in rhino products. Any move to legalise this trade would be a disaster - for the remaining population of wild rhinos, for South Africa's tourism and for
    impoverished people living near our wildlife reserves.

    Friday, 26 June 2020
    Steynberg F 2020. Slegs drie maande tronk toe vir kameelperdjag.

    Twee Namibiese mans, Jimmy Habate Gawaseb en Friedriek Stuurman, is op 2 Junie in die Kamanjab-landdroshof skuldig bevind aan die onwettige jag van ‘n kameelperd in Augustus 2018.

    Two Namibian men, Jimmy Habate Gawaseb and Friedriek Stuurman, were convicted in the Kamanjab Magistrate's Court on June 2 for illegally hunting a giraffe in August 2018.

    Friday, 26 June 2020
    Smit E 2020. Eight arrested for wildlife crimes.

    While only two new cases of wildlife crimes were reported recently, eight suspects were arrested and charged. At Katima Mulilo, Roster Mazila Mukendwa was arrested on 14 June for the illegal hunting of protected game. He was found in possession of a duiker carcass and charged with contravening the Nature Conservation Ordinance Act. In a separate incident, Gerhard Iyambo was arrested on 17 June at Okahao in connection with an old case, dating back to February, regarding conspiring to hunt a rhino. 

    Friday, 26 June 2020
    Steynberg F 2020. Slegs twee olifante vanjaar gestroop.

    Geen afname in olifantstropery in Afrika. Ondanks nuwe navorsing deur Elephants Without Borders (EWB) wat aandui olifantstropery in Afrika toon sedert 2011 geen afname nie, is slegs twee olifante tot dusver vanjaar in Namibië gestroop. Volgens die woordvoerder van die ministerie van die omgewing, bosbou en toerisme, mnr. Romeo Muyunda, is slegs twee olifante sover in 2020 in onderskeidelik die Zambezi- en Kunenestreek gestroop.

    Thursday, 25 June 2020
    Denker H 2020. The Rhino Files: Rhino conservation during a pandemic.

    The Rhino Files are periodic articles exploring the complexity of rhino conservation in Namibia.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2020
    2020. Vier vas oor jag van koedoes, gemsbok  .

    Vier Namibiese mans is verlede Donderdag by Karasburg in hegtenis geneem met glo een gemsbok- en drie koedoekarkasse in hul besit.

    Four Namibian men were arrested last Thursday in Karasburg with one oryx and three kudu carcasses in their possession.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2020
    2020. Tighter provisions for domestic trade in rhino horn published.

    The regulatory measures apply to all sub-species of black rhino found in South Africa, including the Eastern black rhino, and the white rhino.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2020
    2020. Zimbabwe won't pull out of CITES.

    Zimbabwe will not pull out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in order to sell its stockpile of ivory tusks worth US$600 million, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mangaliso Ndlovu, has said.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2020
    2020. Elephant poaching is not decreasing in most of Africa.

    New research led by Elephants Without Borders (EWB) reveals that poaching of African elephants for their ivory has not decreased since 2011 in Western, Southern, and Central Africa. As a result, continued efforts to combat poaching will be necessary to save elephant populations. The new study was published June 23rd in Scientific Reports, in collaboration from researchers at the University of Washington and the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

    Monday, 22 June 2020
    Soldier nabbed with Pangolin in Harare.

    A soldier was arrested after he was found in possession of a pangolin as he was looking for a buyer in Msasa,

    Friday, 19 June 2020
    Smit E 2020. Ten arrested for wildlife crimes.

    A total of five wildlife products were seized: two oryx carcasses, a pangolin skin and two aardvark carcasses.

    Thursday, 18 June 2020
    2020. Sustaining wild species is critical.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a worldwide crisis of food insecurity and unemployment. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns of rising hunger and poverty. Commentators, particularly from the global North, have raised concerns about the implications for biodiversity. The first is that in some places, budgets for biodiversity conservation have been reduced due to a drastic drop in tourism revenue and the diversion of funds and forces to health-related functions. Secondly, growing poverty and the loss of livelihoods may drive people to poaching.

    Thursday, 18 June 2020
    2020. Botswana saws off horns to save rhinos from poachers.

    Botswana began removing the horns from its rhinos and moving them away from the iconic Okavango Delta as an unprecedented poaching crisis threatens their survival in the country. The government said that at least 56 of the animals had been killed by poachers in the past two years, marking the worst onslaught since Botswana’s black rhino population was wiped out in 1992 and the number of white rhinos dropped to just 27.

    Wednesday, 17 June 2020
    Steffen F 2020. Große Pläne mit wenig Geldmitteln.

    Umweltministerium setzt auf Nachhaltigkeit und bekämpft erfolgreich die Wilderei. Obwohl der Sektor als maßgebliches Wirtschaftsstandbein gehandelt wird, steht das Ministerium für Umwelt, Forstwirtschaft und Tourismus mit seinem Ausgabenplan im namibischen Haushalt für 2020-21 gerade Mal an 16. Stelle von insgesamt 33 Ausgabenposten. Der Minister verlässt sich indessen auf viel Hilfe aus Deutschland und von weiteren Entwicklungspartnern.

    Wednesday, 17 June 2020
    South African Police Service (SAPS) 2020. Media Statement - Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS).

    Northern Cape-The Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a 48-year-old suspect for allegedly trading in a pangolin. The suspect who originates from Botswana was arrested on Tuesday after information surfaced that he intended selling a pangolin that is an endangered species. A sting operation resulted in the suspect being arrested after he was found in possession of the said pangolin.

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    SA_2020-06_Services_SAPS.pdf 134.41 KB
    Wednesday, 17 June 2020
    2020. Poacher sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for illegal possession of Elephant Ivory.

    The Chama Subordinate Court has sentenced a poacher to seven years imprisonment for illegal possession of elephant ivory weighing 10 kilograms. Lovemore Nkhowani, 60, a former wildlife police officer, turned into a notorious elephant poacher nicknamed Mbanje, was charged with one count of Unlawful Possession of Prescribed Trophy, that is elephant ivory, contrary to section 130(1) of the Zambia wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2020
    2020. Police arrest two men in possession of ivory for trade in central Angola.

    Lubango, Angola, June 16 (Xinhua) - Two men have been arrested on Tuesday by the National Police of Angola while they were heading towards the central Huila province with 28 kg of ivory.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2020
    2020. Botswana resumes dehorning to fight rhino poaching.

    Botswana's Wildlife Department had embarked on an operation to relocate and dehorn all rhinos to tackle poaching in the country. According to a statement issued by the department on Monday, the Okavango Delta rhino population had been hard hit with 56 animals reported poached as of May 4.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2020
    2020. Man vas met twee erdvarkkarkasse.

    'n Namibiese man, mnr. Harry Garoeb, is Saterdag by Outjo glo met twee erdvarkkarkasse in hegtenis geneem.

    A Namibian man, Mr. Harry Garoeb, was allegedly arrested on Saturday at Outjo with two aardvark carcasses.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2020
    Shikongo A 2020. Wildlife gets bulk of environment budget.

    The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has allocated 36% of its budget to wildlife and protected area management. This was announced by minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta during his budget motivation in the National Assembly on Thursday.

    Sunday, 14 June 2020
    Breakfast S 2020. Limpopo man arrested after trying to sell live pangolin.

    A tip-off led to the arrest of a man caught attempting to sell a live pangolin.

    Friday, 12 June 2020
    Motylska I 2020. The Breaking Point: Could this report spell the end of SA's wildlife trade?.

    The Chinese Academy of Engineering claims that the 'legal' wildlife industry is valued at $74 billion. South Africa is the largest exporter of live wild animals to Asia. At least 5 035 live wild animals were exported from South Africa to China between 2016 and 2019, according to The Breaking Point report published by the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading (BAT).