Over 80 rhino poached in 37 days

Johannesburg - A total of 82 rhino have been poached in the country since 1 January, the water and environmental affairs department said on Wednesday.

"The Kruger National Park remains the hardest hit by rhino poachers this year, having lost 61 rhino to mostly foreign poachers," it said in a statement.

"Twenty one poachers have been arrested, 14 of them in the Kruger National Park."

Eight rhino had been poached in KwaZulu-Natal, six in North West, four in Mpumalanga and three in Limpopo.

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said she had noted with concern the increase in rhino poaching and was confident SA National Parks is on the "verge of a turnaround given the present initiatives implemented against poaching".

Molewa said the fact that rhino poaching was being fought at various levels meant there was a continued investment.

She said she planned to talk to regional groups about the matter at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) in March.


Molewa is expected to meet her Mozambican counterpart on 22 February, for a follow-up to last year's meeting on rhino safety and security co-operation.

The department said Molewa welcomed the recent signing of a declaration by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam banning the import of all white and black rhino specimens.

"The South African government welcomes the announcement by the government of Vietnam that the prohibition on the export, import and trade of specimens of rhino will come into effect," Molewa said.

There was a memorandum of understanding between South Africa and Vietnam to curb the scourge of rhino poaching and to promote co-operation in law enforcement, and compliance with Cites, the department said.

"We believe that this latest development is important for South Africa and will assist our law enforcement authorities to effectively deal with the current scourge of poaching," Molewa said.

In 2012, a total of 668 rhino were killed in South Africa for their horns.

Chaze Damonze 2013-02-06 11:27:35 PM
fukc man!!!!
adinparadise 2013-02-06 11:32:03 PM
This is so disgusting. We need tougher penalties.
Denzyl Khourie 2013-02-07 12:02:30 AM
ffs when is this madness going to end?
Andrew Gibbs 2013-02-07 06:02:30 AM
There is a simple elegant solution. Legalise the trade in rhino horn. Poachers make the best gamekeepers and bunnyhuggers are screwing the rhino to extinction.
Danie van Rooyen 2013-02-07 06:49:17 AM
What a disgrace, yet the powers to be said they are gaining ground to combat the poaching.
Peter Zylstra 2013-02-07 07:12:57 AM
With the government's inability and unwillingness to help prevent the slaughter of the rhinos one can only wonder if they are perhaps also part of the problem?
Abner M. Mophethe 2013-02-07 07:24:03 AM
surely this medicine made from rhino horns must be working for people to risk their life and pay so much for it,
John Buang 2013-02-07 07:31:04 AM
Why and how is this continuing unabated now ! ?
Ockie Fourie 2013-02-07 07:50:33 AM
Change the penalty. N horing vir n horing.
John Porter 2013-02-07 08:11:55 AM
Mark my words, government is involved, as well as rhino farmers. There are allegations that rhino farmers are killing their own rhino and blaming poachers because they want the government to legalize the trade in rhino horn and they think that the obscene poaching levels will enable this. There is no way that the poaching is carried out only by foreigners - you need people in the know who can track the rhino, know where they are, and so on. A LOT OF THIS KILLING IS AN INSIDE JOB PEOPLE - AND I CAN BET YOU THAT MANY TOP PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT ARE GETTING BLOOD MONEY. We need a ban on ALL rhino trophy hunting, trade in rhino and rhino parts, and life sentences for every one involved in the rhino slaughter, no matter what part they played. Only tough action will help the rhino.