Conservationist: SA the main target of rhino poaching

The Environmental Affairs Department says that South Africa has the largest population of rhino in the world, with an estimated 20,000 black and white rhino.

FILE: A rhino and calf at a private game reserve. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A conservation developer says South Africa has become the main target of rhino poaching.

Friday is World Rhino Day a first announced by the World Wildlife Fund-South Africa in 2010.

The Environmental Affairs Department says that South Africa has the largest population of rhino in the world, with an estimated 20,000 black and white rhino.

Conservation developer Kevin Leo-Smith says without the poaching epidemic the rhinos in South Africa would increase, on average, by about 1,320 animals per year - faster than the current rate of poaching.

"South Africa is facing the brunt of rhino poaching for the first time since it started in 2008/2009. In the 70s and 80s it was previously concentrated in the rest of Africa and that was because we there more rhino numbers in total in those countries and at the moment there are more rhino in South Africa."