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Rhino poachers hit Koffylaagte at Eastern Cape

Rhino poachers hit Koffylaagte at Eastern Cape, with the full moon on Saturday Night…

“Early hours of the Sunday morning, poachers sneak into the Koffylaagte game reserve.. taking the moon light to their advantage to conduct their illicit pursuit.

The breeding couple of rhinos were wandering under the Karoo stars during the last minutes of their peaceful life, while shadows of the bastards approached. Air pumped dart guns threw their needles loaded with overdose to drop the giants quietly.. Those men who sold their soul cut the faces of the beasts along with the horns, while they were still alive.. Quickly bagging the horns, they run off like couple of hyenas.. One of them quickly sent a sms to their masters in the syndicate, reporting their success. A very ugly man called his buyer to check the latest prices in Vietnam and China soon after, informing that the next shipment from South Africa will be ready soon…”

Pegasus Hospitality is a PE based humble organisation offering visitors a one stop hospitality solutions with its three establishments. One of those is the Koffylaagte Game Farm, a karoo gem with a historic background for its role as a resting spot in the early settler’s route. This pristine 1800h reserve, resembling a succulent garden is rich in wildlife population and home to many species of antelope..Owner, Mr.Cem Kumral, a former corporate executive who has an extensive wildlife career, from his days as a PH, outfitter, to later serving as a vice president in AWF ( African Wildlife Foundation)..Ironically during his years in AWF, he was initiating an educational campaign for China and Vietnam informing oblivious public there the cruelty and crime involves in Africa, every time they purchase a table spoon of rhino horn powder in their traditional market..

The Sunday was a cold and crisp morning at Koffylaagte, visitors were enjoying a late breakfast. A group set off for a horse back game ride before noon, led by the ranger Piet who noticed the bull rhino was struggling to stand up in the veldt and had no horn!!. He hurried the farm employees for a horseback search party to find the the female rhino soonest. SAP, neighbour’s watch, state vet was called immedietly along with the owner. Considering the survival of the struggling bull as the first priority team contacted the wildlife expert Vet Dr.William Fowlds, who was at Cape Town at the time, William immedietly sent his colleque Emily to Koffylaagte. While these were happening farm employees Gavin, Christo and Nico found the female dead and dehorned brutelly in early afternoon. At this time the lode was swarming with police from Jansenville, wolvofontain, vets, detectives from Hawks and department of environment affairs..The state Vet Dr.Mcfarlene conducted the autopsy and the necessary forensic process, while Dr Emily darted the bull with an antidote to get him out of the suffer of the overdose sedative poachers injected him with..The bull’s condition got better soon after and improved rapidly.. Despite the breaking rain the same eveining bull ate some lucern and pellets, giving much happienss to the entire team as the hopeful indication of his survival..a glims of hope every one much needed after one of the the darkest days of our lives..
Kofyylaagte now receiving hundreds of condolence notes from its friends and visitors.. A guest wrote the following this morning:

”To you wonderful folk at Koffylaagte, firstly we had a fantastic time last weekend and for us all the 2 rhino were in fact the ‘cherry on the cake’.
Whilst we were blessed to see these 2 wonderful creatures at close distance, I nevertheless could not stop thinking that perhaps we might see them for the last time was well because of the fate that could one day fall their way, how stunned are we as a family to realise that it was to be a week later.”

So, what is more alarming? what actually happened or the growing belief in our minds that this will happen sooner or later.. We hope the outcome of this investigation proves different and unite people with the strong bonding of justice.

The good news so far is that the poachers couldn’t kill the bull despite dehorning him and the lonely bull is surviving so far, with its lost pride and tears in his eyes.

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