Nearly 60 rhinos poached in South AfricaÂ
January 31, 2013
So far this year, poachers in South Africa have killed 57 rhinos, at a rate that puts it at about two a day, according to AFP. National parks officialsÂ have been stepping up their anti-poaching operations, but in just the Kruger National Park, which is located on the Mozambique border, 42 rhinos were poached, the Department of EnvironmentalÂ Affairs reports.Â
Although the number of rhinos killed is at nearly 60 for just January, authorities have arrested 18 poachers in the same time frame, and they have also recovered seven rhino horns, according to the media outlet.Â
South African national parks officials feel that even though so many rhinos have been poached, much of their efforts have been working. Massive floods, thick vegetation and two weeks of a full moon may be partly to blame for the surge in poaching over the past month.
"Our operations are more militaristic. The number of poachers arrested has increased inside and outside the park," DavidÂ Mabunda, South AfricanÂ National ParkÂ chiefÂ executive, told the media outlet.Â
Approximately 40 percent of the world's rhino population lives in Kruger Park,Â which is considered the biggest safari destination spot in South Africa.Â However, an increased number of these animals have been slaughtered, causing an increase in operational efforts. In 2012, a record-breaking 668 rhinos were killed just in South Africa, which is most likely due to an increased demand for their horns. Some people in Asia feel as though these horns can add to the medical field, but this has been widely disputed, the media outlet reports.Â