A total of 259 rhino have been poached for their horn in South Africa in the first six months of 2022.

Poaching remains a concern as the crime steadily increases. The number of rhino poached between January and June 2022 is 10 more than the 249 poached countrywide in the first six months of 2021.

From January to the end of June 2022, 82 rhino were poached for their horns in the Kruger National Park.

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy says: “Recent trends in rhino poaching show a move away from the Kruger Park to private reserves and KwaZulu-Natal where the majority of rhinos have been killed this year. This makes it all the more important for the national government to shift its focus to supporting provincial authorities and private reserves in the war on rhino poaching.”

2022 Poaching statistics show a loss of 210 rhino on state properties and 49 in privately-owned parks – SANPARKS

The hardest hit province was KwaZulu-Natal which recorded a loss of 133 rhino. This is more than triple the 33 rhino killed in the first six months of 2021.

Partnerships between the public and private sectors remain key to combating wildlife trafficking. In addition to work being undertaken within the seven Integrated Wildlife Zones, the partnership now includes both the financial and transport sectors, as well as transit and end-user countries in Southeast Asia, especially with the People’s Republic of China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Between January and June, 69 people were arrested in connection with rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking. Of these, 13 alleged poachers were arrested in the Kruger National Park.

The global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), completed an assessment in 2019 of the threats posed to South Africa, and the effort being made to fight these crimes. During this process, the contribution of wildlife trafficking to the generation of proceeds of crime was found to pose a medium to high risk to the country.

“Our rangers need all the support we can provide them. These are men and women who, despite numerous challenges, remain committed to the task at hand despite not knowing what a day will bring,” said the Minister.

You can report any suspicious activities around wildlife to its environmental crime hotline which is 0800 205 005 or the SAPS number 10111.

The Minister of Forestry and the Environment, Barbara Creecy says the Green Scorpions have offered their assistance to police to help track and arrest the murderers of Timbavati’s head ranger, Anton Mzimba.

Mzimba was gunned down outside his home on Tuesday last week.

Creecy last week paid homage to Mzimba’s fight against rhino poaching.

Creecy says Mzimba was a key member of the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Forum.

She says Mzimba dedicated his life to conservation and the promotion of sound relations between conservation authorities and communities living on the outskirts of protected areas.

Mzimba had 24 years of experience as a field ranger and was the winner of the Field Ranger of the Year award at the annual Rhino Awards in 2016.

The Minister says his murder only a few days ahead of World Ranger Day on 31 July, highlights the dangers rangers face protecting our country’s wildlife on a daily basis.

Creecy says the number of successful arrests and prosecutions recorded over the past 6 months, can be attributed to the continued successful collaboration between the law enforcement agencies, customs, and excise officials, and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Read Creecy’s full statement here.

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