Kruger National Park reports 46% increase in elephant poaching

Gazing over all of 2-million hectares, officials find it hard to apply the types of technologies that can assist in preventing the scourge.

The Kruger National Park experienced an increase of 46% in elephant poaching, officials have said.

The park has managed to maintain a downward trend in rhino poaching but the number of elephants killed there continues to rise – at 46% each year, head of rangers Ken Maggs told the Citizen.

“Wildlife crime is not seen as high a priority as other criminality we have,” said Maggs, “particularly violent crimes such as murders and hijacking. Off course the police must focus there”.

The animals are killed for its horns or ivory, which is estimated to cost SANParks a loss of between R228 000 and R252 000 per animal killed, the Citizen reported.

Maggs told the paper it was so hard to apply anti-poaching technologies, though the option of fencing in the species and surrounding them with lights and rangers was considered.

“Kruger is a beast. It’s not your friend. Applying technologies, you will be tested. Walking in the bush as a ranger you will be tested on a day to day basis,” Maggs said.

“At night, in winter, in the summer. Up in the Lebombo mountains, the lions, the elephants, buffalo and crocodiles, you will tested. It’s not your friend,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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