57 rhinos killed in South Africa so far this year

Last updated 07:37 01/02/2013
An African rhino.
UNDER THREAT: An African rhino.

Relevant offers

Africa

Oldest known stone tools found in Kenya Zambia lifts ban on big cat trophy hunting Burundi president appeals for ethnic harmony, soldier killed Jayde Panayiotou murder case rocks South Africa Egypt executes six men convicted of killing soldiers despite 'grossly unfair' trial Morsi death penalty like 'ancient Egypt' Egyptian Ex-President Mohamed Mursi sentenced to death on espionage charges Boko Haram makes gains in northeast Nigeria Burundi military coup declared a failure - army chief Gambia's president threatens to slit the throats of gay men

Officials in South Africa say that 57 rhinos have been killed by poachers across the country so far this year.

The Department of Environmental Affairs said early today (NZ time) that recent floods in Kruger National Park, thick vegetation and two weeks of bright moonlight contributed to the high number of deaths.

The department said 18 suspected poachers have been arrested this year.

A record 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2012, an increase of nearly 50 per cent over the previous year. Demand is growing in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia where rhino horn is believed to have medical benefits despite evidence to the contrary. The horn is made of keratin, a protein also found in human fingernails.

Elephant poaching — for the beasts' ivory tusks — is also rising across Africa.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content