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South African rhino poaching drops by 33% due to Covid-19 restrictions

A white rhino is seen at the Kruger National Park on August 20, 2018.   -  
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South Africa

The number of rhinos killed in South Africa in 2020 has fallen by 33%, a sharp drop in poaching due in part to restrictions on movement to contain Covid-19, an official source said on Monday.

“During the COVID hard lockdown period we had a significant reduction in poacher incursions into the Kruger,” Environment Minister Barbara Creecy said in a statement.

A slight increase in poaching was recorded in December 2020 when the government lifted up some coronavirus restrictions.

“A significant spike in poaching was experienced towards the end [of] 2020, especially during December,” Creecy said.

At least 394 rhinos were hunted down in 2020, and 594 in 2019, according to official government figures.

The Kruger National Park that borders Mozambique had the highest number of rhinos killed at 245.

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