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Illegal hunting in SA on the rise

This year 825 rhino have been poached, from 668 in 2012.

Approximately 668 rhinos were illegally hunted in 2012 alone and the number has increased to 825 this year. Picture: Big Game Parks.

CAPE TOWN - A new government report shows illegal hunting in South Africa remains one of the most serious environmental crimes.

The National Compliance and Enforcement Report (NECER), which was released today, also reveals concerning rhino poaching statistics.

Approximately 668 rhino were illegally hunted in 2012 alone and the number has increased to 825 this year.

The Department of Environmental Affairs' Ishaam Abader says it is a crime that remains on the rise.

"It is one of our major challenges and it's one that we, together with all out other enforcement agencies, are trying to get on top of."