S. Africa's rhino poaching declines by over 30 pct in 2020

  • World
  • Tuesday, 02 Feb 2021

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The killing of rhinos in the country declined by 33 percent as 394 rhinos were poached for their horn last year compared to 594 killed in 2019, a report released on Monday revealed.

This marks the sixth year that rhino poaching has continued to decrease in South Africa.

Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Barbara Creecy said during 2020, the Kruger National Park, in which most poaching activities occurred, experienced 1,573 poacher activities, a decrease of 21.9 percent in comparison to the number in 2019, which was 2,014.

After 10 years of implementing various strategies to combat rhino poaching, South Africa managed to arrest the escalation of rhino losses, and has now seen a year-on-year reduction in the number of poached rhinos.

Creecy believed while the lockdown assisted in the reduction, security measures were the key.

"The role of rangers and security personnel who remained at their posts, and the additional steps taken by government to effectively deal with these and related offences, also played a significant role," she said.

She said the department would also be implementing a proactive and integrated approach which would not distinguish between national, provincial and private parks.

"This Integrated Wildlife Zone approach prevents borders and boundaries from inhibiting planning and implementation to achieve maximum benefit," Creecy said.

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