South Africa’s Rhino Carnage Points to Weaknesses in Policing

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South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs reports that 633 rhinos were killed in the country’s national parks and wildlife conservancies in 2012, resulting in the arrest of at least 266 poachers.

Kruger National Park alone, the crown jewel of South Africa’s tourism industry, lost 395 rhinos during the course of the year, representing an increase of more than 100 percent in losses since 2010, when the park lost 146 rhinos to poaching.


North West Province is the hardest hit, with a threefold increase in losses over the two years from 21 to 77 rhinos killed in 2012.

Arrests in North West province have not increased at the same rate as the number of cases, indicating a lapse in policing efforts by law enforcement authorities in the province.