Rhino poaching in South Africa rose by 50% in the first half of 2021 compared to 2020. From January to the end of June 2021, 249 rhinos were killed, the environment ministry said on Saturday.
In the same period in 2020, 166 rhinos were poached, the lowest number since 2011. Because of the strict rules on travel due to the coronavirus, poachers stayed away.
The majority of the recorded rhino poaching was in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
Rhino poaching involves local poachers and international criminal gangs that smuggle the horns across borders, often to Asia, where demand is high.
Rhino horns are used in traditional Chinese medicine but are increasingly being used as a symbol of wealth.
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