News 19.6.2015 01:32 pm

State-owned parks hit hardest by rhino poachers

FILE PIC: A captured black rhino peeps from a cage during a relocation exercise of four rhinos from Lake Nakuru National Park, some 140 kilometers northwest of Nairobi on May 24, 2015 to Sera Community Conservancy in northern Kenya. The Kenya Wildlife Service, Northern Rangelands Trust and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have moved 20 black and white rhinos to the security-enhanced community owned and operated conservancy.  The horn of each rhino was cut and fitted with a tracking microchip to monitor its movements and to help combat poaching. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER

FILE PIC: A captured black rhino peeps from a cage during a relocation exercise of four rhinos from Lake Nakuru National Park, some 140 kilometers northwest of Nairobi on May 24, 2015 to Sera Community Conservancy in northern Kenya. The Kenya Wildlife Service, Northern Rangelands Trust and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have moved 20 black and white rhinos to the security-enhanced community owned and operated conservancy. The horn of each rhino was cut and fitted with a tracking microchip to monitor its movements and to help combat poaching. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER

The latest rhino poaching statistics, released by Project Rhino KZN, indicate that the number of rhinos killed between January 1 and June 15, in the province is almost the same as last year’s numbers for the same period.

According to the conservation group, KwaZulu-Natal has lost 49 rhino, two up from 47 over the same period last year, Zululand Observer reported.

This year 42 white and seven black rhino were killed, compared to 42 white and five black rhino last year.

State-owned parks have been hardest hit this year, with a reported total of 41 rhino being poached in these reserves, compared to 31 last year and eight on private land.

Last year 16 rhino were poached on private reserves.

Since the beginning of the year, authorities have arrested 25 suspected poachers and have recovered 11 firearms in various operations. Last year 36 people were arrested and 24 firearms recovered over the same period.

This after Environment Minister Edna Molewa last month announced more rhino were poached in South Africa during the first four months of 2015 than in the same period last year, according to an AFP report.

“By the end of April 2015, the number of rhino we lost to poachers was 393 for the whole country,” Molewa said during a press briefing. She added 290 of the 393 rhino were poached in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

A week prior to Molewa’s announcement, South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesperson Rey Thakhuli announced 62 people had been arrested in KNP by that point.

Read More: Rhino poaching at new record levels

– Caxton News Service

 

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