South African law enforcement agencies have intensified the crackdown on rhino poaching, arresting 24 alleged rhino poachers in the past two weeks, the government said on Thursday. The arrests brought the number of suspected rhino poachers arrested across the country since Jan. 1, 2013, to 191, the Department of Environmental Affairs said.
The latest arrests were made in the Kruger National Park and the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.
In addition to the arrests, four suspected rhino poachers were shot dead in two separate operations last month.
Minister of Environmental Affairs and Water Edina Molewa commended law enforcement agencies for the good work they have done in the fight against rhino poaching, the department said.
But the department said the arrests happened amidst the increasing number of poaching incidents reported in South Africa.
The total number of rhinos poached since the beginning of the year has increased to 618, with the Kruger National Park continuing to bear the brunt of rhino poaching, with 381 rhino having been killed for their horns since January.
Among the total number of rhinos poached, 64 have been killed in Limpopo, 62 in KwaZulu-Natal, 62 in North West and 42 in Mpumalanga. More....