Nearly 200 rhinos killed this year in South Africa: WWF

Jul 04, 2011
File photo of a rhino on a Nature Reserve in South African. Nearly 200 rhinos were killed in South Africa in the first half of 2011, with most slaughtered in the world-famous Kruger National Park, environmental group WWF said.

Nearly 200 rhinos were killed in South Africa in the first half of 2011, with most slaughtered in the world-famous Kruger National Park, environmental group WWF said.

South Africa lost 193 in the first six months of the year, with 126 of them killed in Kruger, one of South Africa's top tourist draws, the group said in a statement.

Last year a record 333 rhinos were killed in South Africa, which is home to about 70 percent of the world's rhino population.

"Poaching is being undertaken almost without exception by sophisticated criminals, sometimes hunting from helicopters and using automatic weapons," said Joseph Okori, WWF's African rhino programme coordinator.

"South Africa is fighting a war against organised crime that risks reversing the outstanding conservation gains it made over the past century."

Degree of threat of extinction faced by five existing species of rhino.

South Africa's success in conservation has made the country a target for well-armed gangs. The military this year has begun patrolling Kruger in an effort to crackdown on poaching.

Authorities have arrested 123 suspected so far this year, with six convictions. But the stepped-up law enforcement efforts have yet to slow the slaughter.

Poaching has soared from just 13 cases in 2007, an increase powered by demand for rhino horns in Asian traditional medicine.

"We are pleased to see more successful convictions of poachers," said Morne du Plessis, head of WWF South Africa.

"Applying strict penalties for wildlife crimes such as rhino poaching will demonstrate the South African government's commitment to maintaining this important part of the country’s heritage."

Explore further: Fish found in suspected tsunami debris boat quarantined

Related Stories

Zoo innovations has animals foraging for food

Mar 20, 2015

When red pandas go on exhibit for the first time at Brookfield Zoo in July, they'll be housed around a broad tree that looks like a giant bonsai and has magical qualities.

World's wildlife critical to the economies of nations

Mar 03, 2015

Wildlife is critical to the economies of nations. New Zealand's wildlife – whales, dolphins, red deer, thar, albatross, kiwi, tuatara, fish and kauri – attract tourists. And the tourists who come to see ...

South Africa weighs legal rhino horn trade

Feb 10, 2015

South Africa has appointed a panel of experts to examine the viability of a legal rhino horn trade, the environmental affairs ministry said Tuesday as poaching of the species spiked to record levels.

Recommended for you

Roadkill hot spots identified in California

23 hours ago

An interactive map shows how California's state highway system is strewn with roadkill "hot spots," which are identified in a newly released report by the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Da ...

Tagging and scanning for feral pigs

Apr 17, 2015

Innovative research using GPS tracking and thermal imagery is being used in an attempt to manage the destructive behaviour of feral pigs in the south-west.

Mexico boosts protection of near-extinct porpoise

Apr 17, 2015

Mexico is greatly expanding a protected area of the Gulf of California and boosting navy patrols in an effort to save the vaquita marina, a small porpoise facing imminent extinction.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.