SANParks gets R3,5m to fight poaching

Bavaria Breweries and five major local retailers collected the money over the past few months.

White rhino. Picture: Big Game Parks.

CAPE TOWN - South African National Parks (SANParks) on Tuesday received R3,5 million to aid its fight against rhino poaching.

Bavaria Breweries and five major retailers, including Woolworths, Pick n Pay and Checkers, raised the money over several months.

The funding will mostly be used to equip and train rangers on how to save rhino.

According to SANParks, more than 3,000 rhino have been poached in South Africa since 2000.

More than half of these incidents took place at the Kruger National Park.

SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakuli says, "The money will come in handy for us as anti-rhino poaching is quite an expensive exercise.

"First of all, our rangers who joined were people who just enjoyed nature. We've had to turn them into law enforcement [officers] or soldiers."

Last week, South Africa signed an anti-poaching agreement with Mozambique, a major transit route for horn trafficked to Asia.

An estimated 293 rhino have been killed in the country since the beginning of the year.

Earlier this month, two SANParks staff were arrested in connection with rhino poaching.