Rhino poaching surge in South Africa

January 13th, 2012 - 4:13 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Jan 13 (IANS) Despite increased law enforcement efforts, rhino poaching accelerated in South Africa last year, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said Thursday.

The country lost 448 rhinos in 2011 as a result of poaching. That includes 19 critically endangered black rhinos, of which fewer than 5,000 remain in the wild, it said.

Killings of rhinos increased in recent years. A total of 333 rhinos were killed in 2010, nearly three times the number killed in 2009, Xinhua reported.

South African law enforcement officials made 232 poaching-related arrests in 2011, compared to 165 the previous year.

Sentences imposed for rhino crimes have also increased in recent years, with poachers and horn smugglers receiving as long as 16 years in prison.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |