SA rhino poaching figures rise to 227

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South Africa has lost 227 rhinos to illegal hunting activities since the beginning of the year, the department of environmental affairs said on Monday.

Environmental spokesman Albi Modise said 148 people had been arrested in connection with illegal rhino horns.

The latest statistics indicate the Kruger National Park has lost 137 rhinos, which accounts for more than half of the total rhino killings that have taken place this year.

Limpopo province has suffered 31 rhino killings and the North West and KwaZulu-Natal provinces each have lost 23 rhinos.

The province nearest to these figures was Mpumalanga with six rhinos illegally hunted.

Modise said of the 148 people arrested 131 were poachers, 10 were receivers or couriers of illegal rhino horn, six more were couriers or buyers and one person was an exporter.

The department urged all South Africans to report incidents of rhino poaching.

Any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and the prevention of illegal rhino killings could be left at 0800-205-005. – Sapa

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