Eases in Lockdown Result in Uptick in Rhino Poaching
Rhino poaching was up 15 percent in 2021 from the previous year as Covid-19 restrictions, which limited travel, were lifted. In total 421 animals were killed in 2021, which is 24 percent lower than 2019, according to the country’s environment department reported.
327 animals were slaughtered at government run national parks, while 124 were killed at private game reserves. In recent years the government has tightened security at its famous Kruger National Park, which was a hot spot for poaching. Poachers have now turned to private game reserves in Limpopo and eastern Mpumalanga provinces bordering Mozambique, for “easy prey”.
South Africa is home to roughly 80 percent of the world's rhino population. Their horns are prized in traditional Asian medicine. Public national parks and private game reserves are now collaborating to protect their rhinos. This may include sawing of the animals horns to protect them from poachers.
By: Alexandria Gregson