Two white rhino poached in Zimbabwe

The animals are believed to have been killed on Thursday.

FILE: Poachers killed and hacked off the horns of two endangered white rhino in a park in the south of Zimbabwe. Picture EWN.

HARARE - Zimbabwe's conservation efforts have been dealt another blow after poachers killed and hacked off the horns of two endangered white rhino in a park in the south of the country.

One of the rhinos was over 50-year's-old and the pair were poached from the Matopos National Park, where an intensive rhino protection zone is in place.

The state National Parks and Wildlife Authority has dispatched a team of highly-skilled rangers from western Hwange and the southern city of Bulawayo to track the poachers.

The animals are believed to have been killed on Thursday.

The news will be a huge blow to conservationists and wildlife workers who are already dealing with the fallout from a huge elephant poaching scandal in Hwange National Park.

Fewer than 700 black and white rhino remain in Zimbabwe.

The authorities are hesitant to publicise the exact whereabouts or numbers of rhino for fear of attracting poachers.