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Jacana

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The rhino war in South Africa has entered its 10th year. How can we win this battle?

The rhino does not belong to us. It belongs to no one. All that we own is the responsibility of ensuring that it persists and that future books on the rhino are written about its expanded range and not its declining future. – Yolan Friedman (Endangered Wildlife Trust)

How is South Africa going to sustain the cost of securing rhino while the belief continues to persist that the enemy lies elsewhere in Southeast Asia?

The Walkers believe that the problem actually lies in South Africa’s own backyard.

This book discusses corruption and the criminal justice system, the need for more community engagement and the costs of protection. It also looks at how far have we come since the rhino wars in the 1980s and the rhino trade debate.

We have to shift from the negative to an element of the positive. People are tired of seeing dead and dying rhino. There is some optimism due to the excellent work being undertaken by the state and the private sector at many levels in security, tourism, community involvement and environmental education, as well as NGO support.

There are no easy solutions to this battle, but all is not lost.

It is the opinion of the authors that the private rhino owner, often working in cooperation with the state, will emerge as a key factor in the struggle to win the war. In order to have a victory, we need to have a battle. The time has come when one has to be ‘soft enough to wear silk and tough enough to slay the dragon’. Rhino Revolution testifies to the many people doing just that.

The rhino war in South Africa has entered its 10th year, and last year saw 662 rhino killed in Kruger alone – and over 1000 in total for South Africa. Clive and Anton Walker, authors of the bestselling Rhino Keepers (2012), have once again come up with a fresh, new look at the ongoing rhino crisis. With magnificent photographs and afterwords by John Hanks and Yolan Friedman.

Clive Walker entered the battle for the rhino with the founding of the Endangered Wildlife Trust in 1973. He co-founded the Rhino and Elephant Foundation and the African Rhino Owners Association, and served on the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group for close on 14 years. He served as a member of the South African Parks Board from 2000 to 2006.

Anton Walker, Clive’s son, grew up largely at Lapalala Wilderness, the reserve that was to become an important rhino sanctuary and a world-class environmental school in the bush. Anton joined the permanent staff of the reserve in 1996 and was the general manager of the 45 000-hectare sanctuary until October 2017. He has since taken up the position of director and curator of the Waterberg Living Museum in the Waterberg of Limpopo. His knowledge of both species of rhino is extensive in all areas of management, capture, monitoring, field operations and aerial surveys. His special interest lies in the fossil record of the rhino.

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