Johannesburg - Fifty-two rhino have been poached in South Africa so far this year, SA National Parks said on Tuesday.
The hardest hit areas continue to be the Kruger National Park and Limpopo province with 26 and 13 rhino poached there respectively, SANparks said.
The parastatal's CEO David Mabunda said the high number of rhino killings was worrying, but that the 30 arrests made so far and the steeper sentences imposed on convicted criminals, were encouraging.
"Conservation agencies and the police are seeing increasing co-operation from the public which has resulted in arrests in the Kruger National Park and some provinces being effective before the criminals even enter the parks," said Mabunda.
"The difficulty is pinning a suspected criminal to the actual crime because we are dealing with very wily and sophisticated individuals."