By Benita Matilda
Latest data on rhino poaching reveals that a total of 203 rhinos have been killed in South Africa since the beginning of the year, reports Department of Environmental Affairs.
The number increased from 158 in the month of March to 203 till date. The data suggests that most of the poaching has occurred in the nation's premier wildlife reserve, the Kruger National Park, which is spread over 7,500 square miles and borders Mozambique.
Nearly 18 rhinos have been slaughtered in North West Province, 17 in KwaZulu Natal Province, 13 in Limpopo Province and 10 in Mpumalanga Province, reports Bernama.com
In a recent incident, a rhino cow was euthanized in the Kruger National Park after she was brutally mutilated by poachers. Her horns, entire mouth, tongue, nose and eyes were hacked, leaving her in a miserable condition.
The incident occurred a day after a SA Air Force helicopter crashed in the Park, claiming the lives of all five soldiers on board. The SAAF helicopter was participating in an operation that aimed to stop rhino poaching on Saturday night, reports the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Data according to the IUCN suggests that nearly 5,055 Black Rhinoceros and 20,405 White Rhinoceros exist in Africa. The rhinos are slaughtered for their horn, which has a great demand in Asia's black market. The cost of a rhino horn is $25,000 per pound.
This year so far, there is more than 3 percent loss of rhino population, since in the year 2012, 754 rhinos were killed and nearly 267 poachers were arrested.