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Wed Jan 28 06:13:48 SAST 2015

Rhino toll climbing: dept

Sapa | 27 March, 2013 18:26
A four week old Greater One Horned Rhinosauras runs after her mother.
Image by: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

A total of 188 rhino have been killed since the beginning of the year, the environment department said on Wednesday.

"In the Kruger National Park, 135 rhino have been poached, while 17 rhino have been killed in North West, 16 have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal, 10 in Limpopo and another 10 in Mpumalanga provinces," said spokesman Albi Modise.

He said South Africa and China had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to fight rhino poaching.

It was signed by Environment Minister Edna Molewa and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"The signing of the MoU between the two countries comes only three months since the signing of a similar agreement with Vietnam in December."

He said the memorandum aimed to promote co-operation in the field of biodiversity conservation and protection.

"[The agreements] are particularly aimed at curbing the current scourge of rhino poaching through co-operation in law enforcement, compliance with international conventions and other relevant legislation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit."

Both countries were faced with common problems with respect to wetland and desert ecosystems, and wildlife conservation.

Reports indicated that most horns removed from rhino were being exported to the Far East, Modise said.

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