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Already 52 rhinos poached in SA 2012

by SA Tourism news
(16th Feb 2012)

Fifty-two rhinos have been killed this year already, according to a statement released by SANParks.

The hardest hit areas continue to be the Kruger National Park and Limpopo province, with 26 and 13 rhinos respectively.

CEO of SANParks, David Mabunda, said: “It is worrying that we are still losing such a high number of rhinos throughout the country. The most encouraging area in this whole saga is the increasing number of arrests and the steeper sentences that are being imposed on convicted criminals.”

The Star reported that five suspected rhino poachers had been arrested on February 14 following a shoot-out with police in an area known to hold rhinos. The suspects appeared in the Brits Magistrates Court on February 15.

Thirty arrests have been made across the country so far this year. Conservation agencies and the police are seeing increasing co-operation from the public, which has resulted in arrests before the criminals even enter the parks.

“The difficulty is pinning a suspected criminal to the actual crime, because we are dealing with very wily and sophisticated individuals,” said Mabunda.

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