The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries revealed that a total of 259 rhinos have been poached for their horns in the first six months of 2022.
On Monday, Minister Barbara Creecy released shocking statistics of rhino poaching in South Africa.
The number of rhinos poached between January and June 2022 is more than the 249 rhinos poached during the same time in 2021.
About 82 rhinos were poached for their horns in the Kruger National Park.
Creecy cited that recent trends show a move away from state properties to private reserves particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, where the majority of the rhinos were killed this year.
“This makes it all the more important for the national government to shift its focus to supporting provincial authorities and private reserves in the war against rhino poaching,” said Creecy.
In Kwazulu-Natal, stats showed that 133 rhinos were killed, this is a huge number from the 33 that were killed in the first six months of 2021.
A total number of 210 rhinos were killed on state properties and 49 on privately-owned parks.
Rhino poachers arrests
Rhino poaching is being driven by the demand for rhino horns, which is lucrative in the black market. This drives the crime syndicates that decimate the rhino population.
Law enforcement agencies have been making arrests in an effort to curb rhino syndicates that operate on the border.
In the first six months, they arrested 69 suspects in connection to rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking, 13 of them were arrested at the Kruger National Park.
Four suspected rhino horn traffickers were arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport for attempting to smuggle 56 pieces of rhino horn out of the country.
“The Hawks and Malaysia and Qatar authorities arrested another alleged rhino horn trafficker for his haul of rhino horn pieces at Doha Airport in Qatar.”
“The Hawks are also working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in an investigation arising from the discovery, in June, of a suspect parcel at FedEx that was destined for the USA. The parcel contained 8 kilograms of rhino horn pieces concealed as wooden art pieces,” she added.
To mark World Ranger Day last week, Creecy hailed game rangers for their commitment in protecting the countries rhinos from poachers.