South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has released the latest poaching figures: 249 rhinos were poached in the country between January and June 2021.
These latest numbers show a 50% increase compared to the same period last year. Why?
‘Why?’ is never a straightforward question to answer when it comes to rhino poaching, but we do know that this latest news is most likely related to the impacts of Covid-19. When the pandemic began significant restrictions on movement were in place, making it extremely difficult for poaching gangs to find and kill a rhino (thankfully) and to illegally transport its horn out of the country. So, during those first six months of 2020, rhino poaching declined significantly.
Sadly, once restrictions eased, incidents began to increase, and now that increase has continued into this year.
Fortunately, the figures are still below those of 2019. But, regardless, this shows that we can never be complacent when it comes to tackling rhino poaching.
We’ve got to keep supporting rangers, improving security, and working together to protect these magnificent and iconic animals from the immense poaching threat.
That’s what you, as our brilliant members, are doing. Thank you so much.
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