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Rhino Poaching Worsens in South Africa as 259 Slain in First Half of 2022

South Africa’s Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DFFE) reports that 259 rhinos have been slaughtered in the first six months of this year in the country – already 10 more than for the same period last year.

Of these, 82 were killed in the Kruger National Park, the country’s largest state-owned park. According to the DFFE, 210 of those slaughtered were killed on state property, while 49 were poached in private parks. KwaZulu-Natal was the hardest-hit province, reporting 133 rhino deaths.

“Recent trends in rhino poaching show a move away from the Kruger Park to private reserves and KwaZulu-Natal where the majority of rhinos have been killed this year,” said Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy. She added that criminal syndicates continue to operate within the country’s borders as the demand for rhino horn remains high and a constant threat to rhino populations.

During the first six months of the year, 69 people were apprehended for crimes related to rhino poaching and the trafficking of rhino horns. Thirteen were alleged poachers caught in the Kruger National Park.

“Animal Survival International (ASI) condemns these attacks on South Africa’s rhino populations and calls on the South African government to urgently step up its monitoring and prosecution efforts,” said David Barritt, executive director of ASI.

“We can ill-afford these wildlife losses, and if criminal rings are not intercepted and those responsible punished to the full extent of the law, we will lose entire rhino populations.” 

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