Twelve Rhinos killed in the Eastern Cape this year – yet no arrests

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

According to statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs on Thursday, around 12 rhinos have been killed by poachers in the Eastern Cape this year – and no arrests have been made.

The department called on all South Africans to work together to combat rhino poaching.

It said in a statement; “The call for communities to embrace the rhino as an important contributor to tourism and as a heritage icon in South Africa comes as the number of rhino poaching for their horns since January 2014 increased to 769, with 227 people arrested countrywide.

“The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa, having lost 489 rhinos so far this year.  A total of 103 rhinos have been poached in Limpopo, 65 in KwaZulu-Natal, 47 in North West and 43 in Limpopo.”

As the country celebrates heritage month, the department said that rhinos were part of South Africa’s shared heritage.

“The rhino is a key member of the Big Five and part of the reason millions of tourists travel to South Africa annually. The influx of tourist to enjoy the country’s natural heritage contributes not only to job creation and benefit for communities living adjacent to national and provincial parks, and private game reserves and lodges, but to the economy as a whole,” the statement read.

“As the country approaches the World Rhino Day on 22 September and Heritage Day on 24 September, the Department of Environmental Affairs calls on all communities to join hands in ensuring the survival of not only the rhino as an important ecosystem contributor, but also of the plants and other wild animals being decimated by international crime syndicates.”

It said that South Africans must report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

The full stats below: