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21 Rhinos Already Poached in 2011

by South African Tourism Update

The Chief Executive Officer of South African National Parks (SANParks), Dr David Mabunda, has announced that in the month of January 2011 South Africa has lost 21 rhino to poaching.

In the same period there have been 31 arrests made throughout the country, with 16 having been made in North West province, 10 in the Kruger National Park, three in Gauteng province and two in Limpopo. Since the beginning of the year five suspected rhino poachers lost their lives during skirmishes with park rangers in the KNP, while two suspects have been wounded and are still hospitalised.

“The loss of 333 rhinos to poaching in 2010 was a devastating loss for us but we are determined that in 2011 that should not happen. Anyone who is involved in poaching at whatever level will be a prime target for our investigations and we will leave no stone unturned in this respect, including going for the kingpins of these operations”, said Dr Mabunda.

Last week SANParks announced the implementation of a new tool to assist with the fight against rhino poaching. By documenting individual rhino DNA and using this information to link recovered rhino horns to specific crime scenes, it will be able to pin individuals to a specific crime and to prosecute them for more than the lesser crime of possession alone.

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