Average of 1,8 rhino per day killed in January

In the first month of the year no less than 57 rhino have already been killed by poachers in SA, with the Kruger National Park bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

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Recent flooding in the KNP, thick vegetation, clear and bright evenings and increased incursions from Mozambique by alleged poachers were some of the factors attributed to the park losing 42 rhino in January. So far this year six rhino have been poached in KwaZulu-Natal, six in North West, two in Limpopo and one in Mpumalanga.

Of the 18 suspected poachers arrested since 1 January, 11 were arrested in the KNP and three were fatally wounded. Three suspected poachers have been arrested in Limpopo following a tip-off related to their activities in the KNP and two in North West.

SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Mabunda, said despite increased incursions from Mozambique, in particular the Limpopo Transfrontier Park region in the north of KNP, anti-poaching operations were starting to yield results. “We bled in December, but as of January 1 there has been a change in strategy from a conservation management system to greater law enforcement, and this is working. Our operations are more militaristic. The number of poachers arrested has increased inside and outside the Park.”

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