By Barbara Crown
The issue of rhino vitamin-dart "hunts" in South Africa
continues to concern hunters interested in this species, as evidenced by two recent articles published in Safari Times
, Safari Club International's monthly membership publication. The articles addressed member concerns about the legality of "green" and vita-dart rhino hunts. Continuing subscribers will recall my January 2011
warning that new regulations had effectively barred the tranquilizing of rhinos for non-medical or non-conservation purposes, making green hunts illegal for that species. I also told you about the vita-dart opportunity then newly introduced by Irvin Tam of Tam Safaris
(011-27-48-881-1498). Tam's method, which (as I predicted in 2011) is now used by numerous operators, involves a client shooting the rhino with a dart full of vitamins or other necessary medication. The rhino is only tranquilized by a veterinarian, and, again, only if medically necessary (to draw blood for tests or to treat an injury, for example) or for conservation (such as micro-chipping or relocating the animal). It is a legal activity, requiring a TOPS (Threatened Or Protected Species) permit issued by provincial wildlife authorities......