Army called in to stop rhino poaching

Johannesburg - The SA National Parks has urgently requested that the SA National Defence Force be brought in to help stop rhino poaching, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Monday.

"Rhino poaching is a crime we will have to stop immediately, it is cruel and brutal, SANParks has requested us to assist urgently."

"The SANDF has some of the best air to land equipment to perform this function. Denel (manufacturer of defence equipment) also boasts some of the best air equipment that can help us to stop the poaching. We are working on this matter, it is urgent," she said in a statement.

Sisulu said the SANDF was finalising the details to ensure that it would be ready to help.

At least 210 rhinos have been killed for their horns since the beginning of this year - up from a total of 122 poached last year.

Black-market demand for rhino horn has risen sharply as economic growth has spread through Asia, where the horn is believed to have medicinal properties.
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