Hawks committed to poaching fight

Nine people linked to rhino poaching have been arrested by the Hawks this week.

More than 1,000 rhino were poached in South Africa during 2013. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks say they remain committed to the fight against rhino poaching and the illegal trade in ivory.

During a two-day operation this week, the unit arrested nine suspects linked to these crimes.

Four suspects were arrested on Monday night after they allegedly killed and dehorned one rhino and wounded another on a game farm in Lephalale.

Five men were arrested the following day in Bela Bela after they tried to sell rhino horn to an undercover buyer.

Meanwhile, around 100 South African rhinos will soon find new homes in Botswana in a bid to protect them from poachers.

The animals will be captured and safely transported to Botswana where they will be tagged and micro-chipped before being released into the wild.

According to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, at least two rhino are poached in this country every day and last year more than 1,000 were killed, with most of them in the Kruger National Park.

South African National Parks's Ike Phaahla says although they are not directly involved in the latest initiative, they welcome it.

"Any initiative to save this species is more than welcome."