The annual Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Auction was held on the 16th of September at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park . Whilst we were not buyers it was a very interesting afternoon witnessing the sale of wildlife by live auction. The Game Capture facility. at Centenary Center is a world class transit facility for captured animals due to be relocated to other conservation areas. For the game auction animals are captured and kept in the’pens’ for viewing by prospective buyers before the auction. This allows for the careful viewing of the animals for condition, size and weight .
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This years auction saw 31 lots of animals being sold from Nyala antelope, Lion, Hippo, Buffalo and the star’s of the show White Rhino. Starting with Nyala the top price paid was R13000.00 for a Nyala Adult Male. The Lion sold for an undisclosed amount but were knocked down at R5000.00 per animal. A group of Hippo comprising 2 females and 2 males fetched R20 ooo.00 each. The Buffalo lot comprising 6 females and 2 males fetched R26 000 .00 each. Then it was time for the White Rhino, these magnificent animals which are now highly threatened by poaching syndicates are fetching record prices as buyers are driven by the desire to conserve and protect the species and for financial potential. The financial potential lies in the possibility of opening the trade in horn to satisfy the demand from mainly eastern medicinal consumption. This is the only possible option for the saving of this species.
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The record price for a White Rhino Female was R550 000 and another two cows selling for R520 000.00 and R540 000.00 . Interesting to note was that the lowest price paid for Rhino was for a male and female pair at R200 000 .00 per animal. The Game Capture Pen’s are open for public viewing at Centenary Center at certain times of the year and is certainly worth a visit. The Magqubu Ntombela Game Capture Museum is a must see and is open to the public daily. There is also a kiosk that serves hot lunches and refreshments and well appointed and shaded picnic tables to enjoy a lunch or breakfast snack.