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South Africa loses 363 rhinos due to poaching in Jan-April

Updated: 2016-05-09 21:41
CAPE TOWN -- A total of 363 rhinos were poached in South Africa in the first four months of this year, Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said on Monday.

The Kruger National Park (KNP), one of Africa's biggest game reserves in northeastern South Africa, continued to bear the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 232 rhinos in the period, said Molewa.

During the same period last year, South Africa lost 404 rhinos to poaching, the minister said in Pretoria while delivering a report on the fight against rhino poaching.

"We are not claiming victory, but we are claiming success that accounts for the downward trend," Molewa said.

But despite the moderate fall in poached rhinos, poaching activities have become more alarming.

In comparison to the first four months of last year when 808 incursions took place, the number of poaching activities now stands at a staggering 1, 038 in the KNP, she said, adding rhinos in the country continue to face a daily threat.

"We have responded accordingly and stepped up our efforts to apprehend suspected poachers," Molewa said.

Since the start of the year, a total of 206 alleged poachers have been arrested in South Africa, according to the minister.

These successes are the result of the improved collaboration within the Security Cluster, as well as working with communities and non-governmental organizations, she said.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation remains committed to addressing the national and transnational wildlife trafficking threat through an integrated approach to prevent, combat and investigate wildlife trafficking, Molewa said.
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