Rhino Killings in South Africa Decline 10% as Arrests Increase

The number of rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa last year fell 10 percent as increased efforts to combat the killings start to take effect, particularly in the country’s Kruger National Park.

A total of 1,054 rhino were slaughtered for their horns in 2016, down from 1,175 a year earlier, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement on its website. In the Kruger Park, a game reserve about the same size as Wales, the carcasses of 662 rhinos were found last year, down from 826 in the previous 12 months.

Rhino horn demand has climbed in Asian nations, including China and Vietnam, because of a belief that they can cure diseases such as cancer and even ease a hangover. The price of the horns is as much as $95,000 per kilogram in Asia, more valuable than gold.

The South African Police Service arrested 680 poachers and traffickers last year, up from 317 in 2015, the department said.

Source: Bloomberg