Rhino poaching toll continues to grow

2 May 2013

The number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the start of the year has increased to 273, with the Kruger National Park continuing to bear the brunt of the killings, says the Department of Environmental Affairs.

According to the department, 201 rhinos have been killed in the Kruger Park this year.

“Since the beginning of the year, the North West province has had a total of 21 rhinos poached, while 19 have been poached in KwaZulu-Natal, 19 in Limpopo and 13 in Mpumalanga,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the number of alleged poachers that have been arrested has increased to 83, with five arrests having been made at the Kruger National Park since last week. Since January, a total 41 alleged poachers have been arrested in the park.

In the past week, three suspected rhino poachers were arrested in the Tshokwane section of the park after killing a black rhino. One of the poachers died in a local hospital after being wounded in a shootout with rangers at the park.

The rhino horns were confiscated from the alleged poachers as well as a hunting rifle with a silencer, ammunition and other poaching equipment.

On Tuesday, in a separate incident, an alleged poacher was fatally wounded during a shootout with rangers near the Langtoon dam, which is situated in the north-eastern part of the Kruger Park. Two firearms, ammunition and poaching equipment were recovered.

The department has urged South Africans to report incidents of poaching as well as tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines on 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime Line on 32211.

Source: SAnews.gov.za