Rhino poaching drops except in Mpumalanga

Rhino poaching drops except in Mpumalanga
TURNING THE TIDE: Government says it is turning the tide where rhino poaching is concerned. PICTURE BY Farmers Weekly.

The crimes declined in KZN and North West.

While national figures on rhino poaching went down in 2018 it increased in Mpumalanga, according to government.

The department said the number of rhinos poached in the province increased from 49 in 2017 to 51 in 2018.

Also in Eastern Cape the numbers of rhinos that were poached in the past year increased from 12 to 19.

Environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane said 1,028 rhinos were killed nationwide in 2017.

But last year the number dropped to 769.

“This is a decrease of 259 rhino,” the minister said.

“It is also the first time in 5 years that the annual figure is under 1000,” Mokonyane said this week.

422 of the 769 cases happened inside a SANParks facility.

421 were at the Kruger National Park and one in the Marakhele National Park.

Mokonyane said it was the work of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros Approach that has brought such achievements in fighting the crime. The approach was adopted by government in 2014.

She said this type of approach brings together her department, the justice department and cops to work together.

“The decline is not only indicative of the successful implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros Approach countrywide, but also a confirmation of the commitment and dedication of the men and women working at the coalface to save the species,” said Minister Mokonyane.

142 rhinos were killed in KZN in 2018 compared to 222 in 2017. The figure in North West went down from 96 to 65.

“There are currently 318 rhino poaching-related cases on the court roll involving 645 accused and 897 charges – 275 of these cases are trial ready,” the department said.

(edited by MLM)

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