Rhino poaching in South Africa has declined for the first time in eight years albeit marginally.
According to latest statistics, South Africa, which has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world, had 1,175 rhinos poached last year compared to 1,215 in 2014.
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‘‘Considering that there has been an approximately ten percent increase in the number of poaching activity in the Kruger National Park (KNP), it is clear that were it not for these interventions, the situation would be far worse and many more rhinos would be lost,’‘ Edna Molewa, SA Minister of Environmental Affairs said early last week highlighting the progress in the fight against rhino poaching.
‘‘It is undeniable that this is because of the efforts of our people, in particular the concerted efforts of our law-enforcement and security agencies,’‘ she added.
This is a relief to the developed nation which continues to spruce up efforts in rhino conservation. In 2015, at least 300 poachers were arrested for rhino poaching related offences.
In light of this, the rhino population continues to be stable as recently another calf was born although abandoned by its mother.
Rescued by staff at the Aquila Private Game Reserve just outside of Cape Town, the calf is under a 24-hour supervision.
“Every day it begins when we wakeup, we give him a bottle of 3 liters. It depends if maybe he is still more hungry then he takes 4 liters in. Then we take him for a walk for half an hour into the bush. He normally sticks close vicinity by you. He loves his walks, he runs up and down. He is very boisterous and playful. They need to get that exercise because in the natural wild they would tend to walk with their parents,” said Divan Grobler, the caregiver of the rhino calf.