The two governments will also focus on stopping poachers who obtain hunting permits under false pretenses by masquerading as trophy hunters.
South African government spokesperson Peter Mbelengwa remarked, “As part of the cooperation between the two countries, Vietnam is going to provide us with a list of accredited trophy hunters. We will be able to verify their legitimacy.”
But experts say that even the most admirable efforts to combat the problem cannot be perfect, comparing such campaigns to games of “whack-a-mole,” where when one poaching tactic is defeated, another emerges somewhere else, or in another form.
“The issue seems to be that every time there’s a clampdown in one area, another situation emerges,” said Dr. Jo Shaw, a rhino expert for the World Wildlife Fund. And the situation is just as dire for rhinos in South Africa as they are elsewhere: in 2012 alone, 668 rhinos were killed by poachers. 232 have been killed so far this year. Unfortunately, Shaw concluded, “the patterns indicate that, this year, it will be over 800.”