JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A son of investor Warren Buffett has pledged $23.7 million for protecting rhinos in South Africa, earmarking the money for security measures to fight poaching.
Howard Buffett said Friday that the three-year program in one-third of the vast Kruger National Park, which struggles to contain poachers crossing from neighboring Mozambique, will employ some of the same methods used by the United States to monitor its border with Mexico. They include aerostats: large, tethered balloons with infrared cameras that can scan the landscape around the clock.
Buffett described the initiative as a way of learning "what works and what doesn't" in a southern area of the park that has 4,000 rhinos. South Africa is home to most of the continent's rhinos.
The South African government said Friday that poachers had killed 172 rhinos so far this year, two-thirds of them in Kruger park. Last year, 1,004 rhinos were poached in South Africa, three times as many as in 2010.