Poachers kill 220 rhinos this year

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pretoria - Since the beginning of this year, a total of 220 rhinos have been lost to illegal killings, says the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The Kruger National Park, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal remain the hardest hit by rhino poachers, collectively accounting for 207 of the rhinos killed this year alone.

"The department, our provinces and its public entities such as SANParks view this illegal killing of our national treasure in a very serious light and will continue to prioritise our fight against this crime jointly with our security cluster ministers and their departments," said departmental spokesperson Albi Modise.

According to the department, a total of 146 arrests have been made this year.

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, have been deployed to various borders and a crime line has been established to improve the level of cooperation with the public as well as make access for would-be informers much easier.

South Africans are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to 0800 205 005.