By Govan Whittles
Game rangers, police and South African Defence Force soldiers in Kruger National Park say they are ready to combat poaching with all the latest equipment that is now being used by poachers.
Park officials on Saturday told Eyewitness News poachers have stepped up efforts to bypass new security measures but this has been met with a prepared anti-poaching team with access to the same resources.
At least 145 rhino have been poached in the Kruger Park since the beginning of the year and officials say they are worried the number may reach 1000 by the end of the year if the scourge is not contained.
Kruger National Park spokesperson William Mabasa says they are doing all they can to combat poaching and have now isolated most incidents to the border with Mozambique.
“From the security point of view, we’re doing everything.”
He says at least 35 extra rangers have been brought in over the past year and state-of-the art equipment is being used to fight poaching.
“We have the latest equipment in the market and we’ve increased the vehicle numbers. Over and above that we were able to give them helicopters.”
However, the number of rhino being killed each month continues to rise despite a concerted effort from the rangers and the army who have been deployed in the park.
In 2012, at least 668 rhino were poached throughout the country.
Rhino horn is in demand in some Asian countries as they believe that it can cure anything.