Record 668 rhinos poached in SA last year

2013-01-11 08:51

Poachers slaughtered a record 668 rhinos in South Africa last year as demand for their horns continued to surge on the black market in Asia, the government has said.

Over 60% of the slaughtered pachyderms were from the vast Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest wildlife reserve and the country’s top safari destination.

Five more animals have been killed since the start of this year, according to the environmental affairs ministry yesterday.

Poaching-related arrests climbed from 165 in 2010 to 267 in 2012.

South Africa is home to about three-quarters of Africa’s 20 000 or so white rhinos and 4 800 critically endangered black rhinos.

Authorities have launched inter-linking campaigns to slow the killings.

Soldiers and surveillance aircraft were deployed in the Kruger Park, while stricter criteria for rhino hunting permits saw applications tumble to 90 in 2012, down from 222 a year before.

Rhinos are victims of a booming demand for their horns, which some people in Asia think have medicinal properties. The medical claim is widely discredited.

South Africa and Vietnam last year signed a deal to tackle the trade in rhino horn.

The World Wildlife Foundation hailed the agreement but highlighted “an urgent need to work closely with countries which are transit routes for illicit rhino horn, specifically Mozambique,” WWF South Africa rhino coordinator Jo Shaw said in a statement yesterday.

“Both Mozambique and Vietnam have been given failing grades by WWF’s Wildlife Crime Scorecard for failing to enforce laws meant to protect rhinos,” the body said.

This week Thai and Vietnamese airport authorities seized over 27 kilos of rhino horn in separate incidents.

The number of rhinos poached in South Africa has risen sharply from 13 in 2007 to 448 in 2011.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks: Coenie ‘worst dresser’
Think Tank: Why are the minnows so much better?
LIVE: Springboks v USA
USA excellent on defence - Bok guru
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.