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Thu Apr 02 08:34:37 SAST 2015

Rhino poaching death toll at 428

Sapa | 20 June, 2013 14:00
The carcass of a rhino is seen after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park, in Mpumalanga province in this September 14, 2011 file photograph.
Image by: STRINGER / Reuters

The number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year has risen to 428, the environmental affairs department said on Thursday.

The Kruger National Park lost 267 rhino to poachers. In Limpopo 15 rhino were poached over the past week, bringing the province's total to 45.

In the North West 48 rhino had been killed, 38 in KwaZulu-Natal, 27 in Mpumalanga, two in the Eastern Cape, and one in Gauteng.

Since January, 122 alleged rhino poaches had been arrested. Fifty-seven of them were caught in the Kruger. Five people who received rhino horns were arrested.

"On Sunday, Kruger National Park rangers made contact with a group of three poachers near Letaba," the department said.

"One poacher was wounded during the shoot-out and later died of his wounds. The other poachers managed to escape."

The department urged South Africans to call 0800 205 005 to report rhino poaching.

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