Poaching claims 455 rhinos
The number of rhinos illegally hunted and killed in South Africa this year has reached 455, the department of environmental affairs said today.
This total was already more than the figure for the whole of last year.
South Africa lost a total of 448 rhino to poaching activities in 2011, mostly for the illegal rhino horn trade.
The bulk of animals already lost this year were in the Kruger National Park, where 272 rhinos were poached since the beginning of 2012.
It was already 20 animals more than in 2011.
The provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the North West were the hardest hit by poachers and had lost 150 rhinos this year.
Department spokesperson Albi Modise said 207 people had been arrested for poaching and illegal trading in rhino horn.
These included 179 poachers, 10 people who received illegal rhino horns, and 18 people who acted as couriers for illegal rhino horns.