8 May 2012

South Africa: Number of Rhinos Poached Rises to 210

Photo: International Rhino Foundation
Removing the horn of a rhino to make it less appealing to poachers.

Pretoria — The number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year has risen to 210, the Department of Environmental Affairs said.

Of the total number, the Kruger National Park has lost a "disturbing" total of 127 rhinos since January 2012.

"Government views the poaching of this national treasure in a very serious light and continues to prioritise our fight against this crime through coordinated, joint efforts," said the department.

However, it said it was encouraging that the number of arrests continued to increase, with the arrests for 2012 now totalling 128. Sixty-seven arrests have been made in the Kruger Park.

In her Budget Vote earlier this month, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the ongoing poaching of rhino was a source for great concern to government and the various stakeholders.

She said government would continue to implement the various initiatives, as well as place added measures to address the matter.

The on-going scourge underscored the importance of SADC collaboration on the development of Transfrontier Conservation Areas. "The resolution is not managing through fences, but to continue the southern African initiative of cross-boundary conservation partnerships," she said.

The minister said they were cooperating with perceived transit or consumer countries in the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

South Africans are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to 0800 205 005.

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