S.Africa's rhino poaching toll passes 600 for the year

Sep 05, 2013
This picture taken on July 25, 2013 shows a white rhino at the Johannesburg Zoo. Poachers have killed more than 600 rhinos in South Africa so far this year, figures showed Thursday, with losses close to the total number of animals slaughtered in 2012.

Poachers have killed more than 600 rhinos in South Africa so far this year, figures showed Thursday, with losses close to the total number of animals slaughtered in 2012.

South Africa is home to the world's biggest rhino population but killings have surged in recent years to reach 668 animals last year from just 13 reported incidents in 2007.

"The total number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year has increased to 618," said the department of environmental affairs.

More than half were killed in the giant Kruger National Park which borders Mozambique in the east.

The bloodbath is fuelled by black market demand in Asia where consumers falsely believe the horns, the same composition as fingernails, have powerful healing properties.

A total of 191 suspected have been arrested this year, with 24 in the past two weeks.

Explore further: Fish detection system for toxins wins Chinese company invention award

Related Stories

S. Africa rhino toll hits 428 this year

Jun 20, 2013

Poachers have slaughtered at least 428 rhinos in South Africa so far this year, more than two a day, official figures showed Thursday, despite high-profile efforts to curb poaching.

Recommended for you

Roadkill hot spots identified in California

Apr 17, 2015

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.

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.