CAPE TOWN – A total of 363 rhinos were poached in South Africa in the first four months of this year, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, said on Monday.
That is down from 404 rhinos lost to poaching in South Africa in the same period last year, according to official figures.
“We are not claiming victory, but we are claiming success that accounts for the downward trend,” Molewa said.
The Kruger National Park (KNP), one of Africa’s biggest game reserves in northeastern South Africa, continued to bear the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 232 rhinos from January to April, said Molewa.
Despite the moderate fall in poached rhinos, poaching activities have however become more alarming.
The number of poaching activities recorded in the KNP in the four months stood at a staggering 1,038, up from 808 a year ago, Molewa said.
“We have responded accordingly and stepped up our efforts to apprehend suspected poachers,” she added.
Since the start of the year, 206 poacher suspects have been arrested in South Africa, according to the minister.
Molewa said said these successes were a result of improved collaboration within the Security Cluster, as well as cooperation with local communities and NGOs.
The South African authorities are committed to addressing national and transnational wildlife trafficking, she said.