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Lockdown leads to 33% drop in rhino poaching in 2020 - dept

In 2020, the Kruger National Park recorded 1,573 poaching incidents, a decrease of nearly 22% compared to 2019.

FILE: A sedated rhino has its GPS tags checked to make sure they match its DNA sample. Picture: Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN – There was a more than 30% drop in rhino poaching last year.

The Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries attributes the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Last year, 394 of the animals were killed by poachers in South Africa.

Along with anti-poaching initiatives, there was a 33% drop last year.

In 2020, the Kruger National Park recorded 1,573 poaching incidents, a decrease of nearly 22% compared to 2019.

Department spokesperson Albi Modise said: “The role played by rangers and a wide range of security personnel - even during lockdown, they remained at their posts and additional steps that government has been taking to deal with poaching – all of those contributed to the decline.”

The department said it would try to intensify its efforts to combat the scourge.

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