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Parks and Wreck
Animal Rights – Four people working in South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching, the country’s national parks body announced today.
The arrested officials include two field guides and a ranger, all detained after two rhinos were found murdered in Kruger, one of the largest game parks in the world.
Those detained were station in a relatively small portion of the park that had seen 11 rhinos murdered since the start of 2012.
“The animals had been shot and their horns removed. Further investigation into the killing of the two rhino and possibly other rhino poaching incidents in the area are currently being conducted,” said Sanparks spokesperson Wanda Mkutshulwa.
According to Sanparks, 50 people have been arrested in connection with poaching since the beginning of the year.
“I am personally saddened to discover that some of our own would so callously abuse the confidence and faith that w have entrusted upon them,” Sanparks head David Mabunda said.
A record breaking 450 rhinos were slaughtered last year in relation to the skyrocketing demand for their horns in Asian traditional medicine, especially in China and Vietnam. This despite stressing by scientists that rhino horn, which fetches $55,000 per kilogram on the black market, is made from the same material as fingernails and has absolute no medicinal properties.
South Africa has become the primary focus of the rhino trade because it is home to approximately 75 percent of the global population, or about 20,000 animals.
Find out more at the BBC.