South Africa rhino poaching toll for year tops 200

April 3, 2013
Photo taken on February 6, 2013 shows rhinoceros resting in the Kruger National Park near Nelspruit, South Africa. Poachers have killed over 200 rhinos in South Africa this year, the environment ministry said Wednesday, as a major security operation fails to curb illegal hunting for the rhino horn trade.

Poachers have killed over 200 rhinos in South Africa this year, the environment ministry said Wednesday, as a major security operation fails to curb illegal hunting for the rhino horn trade.

The world-famous was the hardest hit, with dozens of raids by .

"This is like full scale war that's raging in that park," environment ministry spokesman Albi Modise told AFP, after 56 incursions were recorded by rangers in just 12 days in March.

The toll since the beginning of the year is now 203.

Even soldiers and police with helicopters deployed to stop the slaughter struggle to secure the vast reserve, which is roughly the size of Israel.

Last Sunday a mutilated rhino cow was found "bleeding profusely from having its horns, entire mouth, tongue, nose and eyes hacked off and had to be euthanised", the ministry said in a statement.

A poacher was killed in a shootout the same day, while another is believed to have committed suicide.

At the weekend, five soldiers died in a military chopper crash during an anti-poaching operation.

Sixty people have been arrested this year.

The lucrative Asian market for rhino horn drives poaching in South Africa, which has the largest rhino population on the continent. Asian consumers falsely believe the horns, the same material as , have powerful healing properties.

The killings have escalated from 13 poachings in 2007.

Last year, 668 were killed.

Explore further: In S.Africa poaching fight, chemical makes rhino horns toxic

Related Stories

S.African rangers kill poachers in Kruger park

January 12, 2012

Authorities have killed two suspected poachers, arrested two others and found 11 rhino carcasses in the same area of South Africa's Kruger National Park in one week, a spokesman said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Scientists discover maleness gene in malaria mosquitoes

June 30, 2016

Scientists, led by Dr Jaroslaw Krzywinski, Head of the Vector Molecular Biology group at The Pirbright Institute have isolated a gene, which determines maleness in the species of mosquito that is responsible for transmitting ...

Similarities found in bee and mammal social organization

June 30, 2016

New research shows similarities in the social organisation of bees and mammals, and provides insight into the genetics of social behavior for other animals. These findings, published in PLOS Computational Biology, use sociogenomics ...

Researchers identify calorie-burning pathway in fat cells

June 30, 2016

Investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a natural molecular pathway that enables cells to burn off calories as heat rather ...

Honeybees threatened by virulent virus

June 30, 2016

Researchers have found that honeybees in Europe are at significantly higher risk from an emerging viral variant, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

0 comments

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.