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Sat May 23 07:46:29 SAST 2015

Molewa promises to do more to protect rhino

Sapa | 23 September, 2013 06:51
Minister of the Environment and Water Affairs Edna Molewa. File photo.

The government has promised that it will not allow the rhino to become extinct.

"I can assure you that we will not allow rhino to become extinct on our watch," Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said at a World Rhino Day parade in Pretoria on Saturday.

She said the increase in rhino poaching had strengthened the government's determination to fight it.

Among the latest developments was the establishment of a National Rhino Fund.

"Our rhino population is still viable and stable but it will take a concerted effort to end poaching."

She said 688 rhino had been poached this year. In the past 10 days, 25 poachers had been arrested, 14 of them in Limpopo.

"Among those arrested was one of the most wanted poachers in the Kruger National Park," said Department of Environmental Affairs spokesman Albi Modise.

"The number of arrests is an indication that additional safety and security measures - including the referral of rhino crimes to the national joint operations centre, and the improvement of the skills of rangers, investigators and court prosecutors - are successful," Modise said.

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