Rangers pull a rhino to a metal cage near Skukuza, South Africa, for transport by truck to an area hopefully safe from poachers. Kruger National Park has conducted about 45 such captures since last month, as part of a plan to create a stronghold within the country's flagship reserve where rhinos will get extra protection from poachers, many of whom cross from neighboring Mozambique and are slaughtering the animals in increasing numbers. AP Photo/Denis Farrell

Johannesburg - Not all rhino could be moved to safety this year, a Kruger National Park spokesman said on Saturday.

“It was not possible to move all rhino this year. Moving rhino is not an easy task,” said William Mabasa.

The task involved having to go and track down rhino, immobilise it and put it in a boma (a livestock enclosure) for rehabilitation before relocating it.

“It is a long intensive process and one cannot say 500 rhino would be moved within a specific period. Factors such as the weather temperature are also considered,” Mabasa said.

H said around 70 rhino have been relocated to other parks and to safer parts of the KNP.

The SA National Parks announced in October that the relocation of some of the white rhino in the KNP had begun.

This followed a rhino management strategy adopted by Cabinet in August to curb poaching.

On November 20, the department of environmental affairs announced that the number of rhinos poached in South Africa was at 1020.

The number already exceeded the 1004 that were poached in the whole of 2013.

The KNP, where 672 of the animals have been killed, bore the brunt of the poaching.

There were 344 people arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

Sapa