The number of rhinoceroses killed by poachers in South Africa in the first eight months of 2018 decreased by 26 percent, despite the increased activity of poachers, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the country reported.
Rhinoceroses are killed for the sake of the horns, a powder or tablets from which in Asia are groundlessly considered a cure for various diseases. AsAFP notes , in South Africa, 80 percent of all remaining rhinoceroses live on the Earth, primarily white rhinos ( Ceratotherium simum ).
According to the ministry, since the beginning of the year in South Africa poachers killed 508 animals compared with 691 for the same period last year. In total in 2017, 1028 rhinoceroses were the victims of poachers. This year, authorities arrested nearly 400 people for poaching and confiscated more than 60 kilograms of sawn horns, 530 cases of poaching are considered in the country’s judicial system.
As the agency notes, “the decrease in the [number of killed rhinoceroses] is observed despite a sharp increase in the activity of poachers in the Kruger National Park,” South Africa’s oldest national park in the north-east of the country. Now, according to experts, about 500 black rhinos ( Diceros bicornis ) and about 5 thousand white rhinoceroses live in the national park . In 2018, 292 animals were killed in the park against 332 in the first eight months of 2017. Since the beginning of the year, the park recorded more than 1.8 thousand episodes related to poaching (for example, the detection of camps of poachers), the authorities managed to confiscate 83 horns.
Poaching remains a big problem for elephants. Recently, an international group of experts exposed three large cartel exporters of elephant tusks, comparing the genetic data of the seized tusks with a genetic map of elephant populations.