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259 rhino were poached across SA in the first six months of this year - 133 were in hard-hit KZN

A total of 259 rhino were poached for their horn in South Africa in the first six months of 2022, with 210 rhino on state properties and 49 in privately-owned parks.

File Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 1, 2022

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Durban - Rhino poaching statistics released on Monday by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environments shows that KwaZulu-Natal has been hardest hit with a loss of 133 rhino.

A total of 259 rhino have been poached for their horn in South Africa in the first six months of 2022 with 210 rhino on state properties and 49 in privately-owned parks.

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Minister Barbara Creecy said recent trends had shown a move away from the Kruger Park to private reserves and KZN where the majority of rhinos have been killed this year.

“This makes it all the more important for national government to shift its focus to supporting provincial authorities and private reserves in the war on rhino poaching,” said Creecy.

The number of rhino poached between January and June 2022 is 10 more than the 249 poached countrywide in the first six months of 2021.

From January to end of June 2022, 82 rhino were poached for their horns in the Kruger National Park.

KZN has see a massive rise in poaching as the loss of 133 rhino is more than triple the 33 rhino killed in the first six months of 2021 in the province.

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The rhino poaching statistics for South Africa from 1 January to 30 June 2022. Picture: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

The department said the demand for rhino horn remains a constant threat to rhino populations as crime syndicates continue to operate within our borders.

However, it said there were a number of successful arrests and prosecutions recorded over the past 6 months, which can be attributed to the continued successful collaboration between the law enforcement agencies, including the SAPS, DPCI and the Green Scorpions, Customs officials and the National Prosecuting Authority. These efforts are supported by private security, it said.

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“Partnerships between the public and private sector remain key to combating wildlife trafficking. In addition to work being undertaken within the seven Integrated Wildlife Zones, the partnership now includes both the financial and transport sectors, as well as transit and end user countries in Southeast Asia, especially with the People’s Republic of China, Malaysia and Vietnam.”

The department said between January and June, 69 people were arrested in connection with rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking. Of these, 13 alleged poachers were arrested in the Kruger National Park.

It added that as a result of the ongoing work of integrated enforcement teams at OR Tambo International Airport, 4 alleged rhino horn traffickers were arrested between January and June this year for trying to smuggle 56 pieces of rhino horn out of the country.

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