Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy says efforts to save the rhino are paying off as poaching numbers decrease.
From January to June 2019, the number of rhino poached countrywide was 318, a decrease compared to the same period in 2018 when 386 rhino were killed for their horns.
Creecy said the decline can be attributed to cooperation between law enforcement agencies and government departments, including collaboration with private rhino owners, NGOs and other stakeholders.
The implementation of the Integrated Strategic Approach to the Management of Rhino, the Minister said, has also played a part in the decline of rhino poaching.
A total of 190 rhino have been poached in the Kruger National Park in the period under review, even though 1 202 incursions and poacher activities were recorded in the park in the first six months of this year.
“Although the battle to end poaching is far from over, we are proud to say that our efforts as government, private rhino owners and concerned citizens are paying dividends as we continue to implement the Integrated Strategic Approach to the Management of Rhino,” Creecy said.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has recently entered into partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to enhance detection capabilities at ports of entry and exit through the use of highly trained canines.
These canines will assist in screening cargo and luggage for wildlife products, including rhino horn.