Rhino killed in South Africa

March 3rd, 2012 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Cape Town, March 3 (IANS) A rhinoceros was killed and two others were critically injured after poachers struck at a game farm in South Africa, authorities said.

Despite an intensified crackdown, rhino poaching continued unabated in South Africa, authorities said Friday.

A rhino was killed and two others were critically injured after poachers struck in the Eastern Cape Friday morning, according to the Hawks, a special anti-crime task force.

“Rangers at the Kariega Game Farm were patrolling this morning when they found three dehorned rhinos,” Xinhua quoted Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela as saying.

The attack followed the arrests of four suspects earlier this week for killing and dehorning two rhinos in the Kruger National Park.

The suspects included three park employees and a traffic officer.

In another development, a rhino horn was discovered inside a bag following a car crash outside Johannesburg Thursday.

The discovery led to the arrest of four people who were charged with illegal possession of a rhino horn.

The devastating rhino poaching onslaught in South Africa is continuing despite mounting efforts by the government to rein in the deadly surge in poaching.

Last year, a record 448 rhinos were killed, including 19 black rhinos, a critically endangered species of which fewer than 5,000 remain in the wild.

That is 34 percent more than in 2010, when 333 rhinos were killed, and nearly four times the 122 lost in 2009.

More than 80 rhinos have been lost to poaching in South Africa since the start of the year, including 43 in the Kruger National Park, according to official figures.

Last year, 232 suspected poachers were arrested in South Africa, including 26 who died in clashes with the authorities. In 2010, 165 arrests were made.

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