128 rhino poached in SA

At least 128 rhino have been poached and 46 people arrested since the beginning of 2013.

A dead rhino at the Finfoot Lake Reserve. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - At least 128 rhino have been poached in South Africa since the start of 2013, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa revealed on Thursday.

She released this statistics at a post-Cabinet briefing in Parliament, Cape Town.

The minister will be jetting off to Thailand soon for the 16th COP International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna Convention to gain information on rhino matters.

Molewa said 46 people have been arrested in connection poaching.

She said three of those arrested were rhino poaching kingpins.

The Kruger National Park has been the hardest hit with Limpopo and the North West province also affected.

However, Molewa said additional army members were posted to patrol the reserve and some had received anti-poaching training.

The minister also said they were thinking of opening a national rhino fund.

It was also revealed the country currently only has just more than 20,000 black and white rhino.

At least 633 rhino were poached in 2012.

People in some Asian countries believe rhino horn can heal many illnesses, something that has never been proven.

This has fuelled the demand for rhino horns.