South Africa says over 1,000 rhinos poached in 2013

Jan 17, 2014
Two white rhinos are pictured at Johannesburg Zoo on July 25, 2013

More than 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa last year, a 50 percent increase from 2012, fuelled by the black-market demand for their horns, the government said Friday.

"The total number of rhino poached in South Africa during 2013 increased to 1,004," the environment ministry announced in a statement.

Asian demand for rhino horn—prized as a status symbol and wrongly thought to possess medicinal properties—has fuelled an ever more intense onslaught on the animals.

South Africa is home to around 80 percent of the world's rhino population, estimated at more than 25,000.

In 2007 only 13 rhinoceroses were reported hunted illegally in South Africa, but since then the numbers have increased exponentially every year.

Despite drone and foot patrols, poachers appear to stay ahead of the security forces.

Already a total of 37 rhino have been poached in the first two-and-half weeks of this year.

The famous Kruger National Park bordering Mozambique has taken the brunt of the poaching scourge.

Sophisticated transnational criminal organisations illegally hunt the animals and hack off their horns which are then smuggled out of the country to Asia.

A total of 343 arrests were made in the past year for poaching.

Explore further: S.Africa rhino poaching toll approaches 1,000

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hong Kong returns rhino horns, elephant tusks to S.Africa

Nov 27, 2013

Hong Kong returned a consignment of seized rhino horns and elephant tusks worth $2.25 million (1.66 million euros) to South Africa on Wednesday, authorities said, as poaching for the Asian black market continues ...

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

An uphill climb for mountain species?

31 minutes ago

A recently published paper provides a history of scientific research on mountain ecosystems, looks at the issues threatening wildlife in these systems, and sets an agenda for biodiversity conservation throughout ...

Extinctions during human era worse than thought

2 hours ago

It's hard to comprehend how bad the current rate of species extinction around the world has become without knowing what it was before people came along. The newest estimate is that the pre-human rate was ...

Robotics to combat slimy pest

5 hours ago

One hundred years after they arrived in a sack of grain, white Italian snails are the target of beleaguered South Australian farmers who have joined forces with University of Sydney robotics experts to eradicate ...

Migratory fish scale to new heights

6 hours ago

WA scientists are the first to observe and document juvenile trout minnow (Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes 1846) successfully negotiating a vertical weir wall by modifying their swimming technique to 'climb' ...

User comments : 0