Rhino Wars – Making a Profit

It is human nature to focus on the brighter, the more colourful and the loudest. So with the slaughter of the rhino for a long time the focus of the public was on the actual poacher, not who was paying him. The public and many activists applauded to capture or death of such men, believing we were winning the Rhino Wars. It took a long while before a few better informed people could sway this narrow minded view. The new watchwords are now syndicate and kingpin, which is better while not been best. The more I see the word middlemen, the happier I become.


This snake is so large that cutting off the head is virtually impossible and even that is a major concern, discerning where the head is. As with the poacher the public and a lot of the activists jumped on China. One did not see any demonstrations staged outside the Vietnamese or Thailand Embassy, and while the focus was on China, Thailand via Laos in particular ran amok. Finally when a Thai kingpin was caught the attention turned to that arena.


The culprit, one, Chumlong Lemtongthai, got a heavy sentence, and the middlemen, one been, Marnus Steyl, walked away. That seems like it may change but at the time of writing it seems he may walk away again. This is not the great victory that it is being made out to be, even if Steyl get put away. Shoot me down for saying this, people will, but that is of no matter. Winning a battle does not win a war and this was only one battle, let us not breath a collective sigh of relief. Hundreds and hundreds of rhino have died while the eyes were on these men.


The so called kingpin, Chumlong Lemtongthai , has a boss, one Vixay Keosavang, who will most certainly not give up his lucrative business just because one of his minions is in trouble. Business is business and he will just replace the man, if he is as clever as he seems to be, he will replace him with a Westerner or an African, that will blend in much better  and be harder to catch. Hell, Vixay does not even operate out of Thailand, he seems to be based in Laos. As for Steyl, a dime a dozen, just like the poacher, albeit a bit more pricy but just as easy to obtain.


Which brings me to my main point, which is, fighting this war at all levels. Reading the book by Julian Rademeyer, Killing for Profit and wondering why the author never even touched on the other money spinner, collecting money on the back of the poor rhinos plight? Then again he may be saving his findings for a new follow up book called Making a Profit.


I still have certain people giving me a few problems, following me on my blog and facebook because I questioned their collecting of funds and the use of those funds; in the name of saving the rhino. Just last night in fact, one of them using a fake profile was giving me a hard time. They never learn. I am going to finish Mr. Rademeyer’s and then see if I can contact him about this issue.


I believe, as you see by the photo in this post, a few people breathed a sigh of relief too, due to the fact that their neither name nor company was mentioned in the book. I believe the author could ask some of the questions that so far Selomie refuses to answer.

96 unanswered questions for Selomie Maritz of Palala Rhino Sanctuary and Ubumanzi Game Reserve and Lodge.


This may seem like the tail of the snake, but believe me, it is not. There are millions and millions of Rands being donated that the true warriors of this war shall and have never seen.


FireShot Screen Capture #005 - '(1) Palala Rhino Sanctuary' - www_facebook_com_palalarhinosanctuary_ref=ts&fref=ts


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One Response to “Rhino Wars – Making a Profit”

  1. Tracy Burnley Says:

    Thanks Wayne, another good post that I enjoyed reading. I hope you do get your chance to speak to Mr. Rademeyer. That would be an interesting conversation. Oh to be a fly on the wall and hear it.

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