By Chantelle Nicholas
Rhino poaching is close to resulting in more deaths than calves being born, Braam Malherbe, extreme conservationist and 50/50 television presenter, said.
"In 2008 an average of 19 to 20 rhino were poached annually. In 2009 122 rhino were poached, in 2010 the figure increased to 333, in 2011 448 rhino were poached and in 2012 668 rhino were poached," Malherbe told News24.
"From 2010 to 2012 the figures doubled. This year as at the end of May more than 350 rhino were killed. Out of the 350 rhino killed nationally 242 were killed in the Kruger Park. And of the 668 and 448 rhino killed nationally, between 2011 and 2012, an average of 72% of the rhino killed were in the KNP."
According to him the KNP accounts approximately for 48% of the national total rhino population. He said most of the poaching is also taking place in the eastern boundary between Mozambique which is about 400km long and is largely unprotected.
"There are more willing poachers than there are rhino. The elements driving the rhino killings are highly organised crime syndicates who will stop at nothing to fuel the trade."
The number of people arrested countrywide on rhino poaching-related charges was currently at 121. Fifty-six of them were arrested in the KNP. More....