Monday, 11 May 2015

Rhino poaching across South Africa reaches record high

Statistics released by the South African environment ministry show that the first three months of 2015 saw a record level of rhinos killed by poachers


7:00AM BST 11 May 2015

South Africa is facing its worst ever year for rhino poaching, with the government announcing that more rhinos have been poached in the first three months of this year than in the same period for the record-breaking year of 2014.

Edna Molewa, the environment minister, said that by the end of April 2015 poachers had killed 393 rhinos – 290 of them inside Kruger National Park.

By this time last year, the number of rhino lost to poachers was 331 for whole of the country and 212 for the Kruger National Park.

During the whole of 2014, in South Africa alone, 1,215 rhinos were killed by poachers - one every eight hours.

The Kruger National Park, a massive area bordering Mozambique, is home to the majority of South Africa’s 20,700 rhinos.

The latest figures were released at the first public briefing on rhino poaching the South African government has given in months.

“This is not deliberate – it is because of the heavy load of work that we have,” explained Ms Molewa.

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