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Zuma expected to address delegates at CITES conference in Sandton

Participants from 182 countries will regulate the status of 500 species of endangered animals and plants.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma is expected to open the world's largest wildlife conference in Sandton this morning.

More than 3,500 delegates are set to attend the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species known as CITES.

The fate of the savannah elephant, poached at a rate of 35,000 a year for their tusks, and the rhino, more than a thousand of which are illegally slain every year for their horns rests with the policymakers, activists and academics meeting in Sandton for the next ten days.

It's the first time CITES is being held in the country that houses the largest number of rhinos and second largest elephant population on the planet.

Participants from 182 countries will regulate the status of 500 species of endangered animals and plants.