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Rhino poaching surges 93 percent in Namibia | Wildlife News

Authorities say 87 rhinos were killed last year, compared to 45 in 2021, most of which were poached in the country’s largest park.

Official government data showed that the number of endangered rhinos killed by poachers in Namibia hit an all-time high last year after 87 animals were killed, up from 45 in 2021.

Rhino populations in Africa have been culled over decades to meet demand for rhinoceros horn, which, despite being made from the same material as rhino hair and nails, is valued in East Asia as a supposed medicine and as an adornment.

On Monday, Environment, Forestry and Tourism Ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda said poachers had killed 61 black and 26 white rhinos, mostly in Namibia’s largest park, Etosha, where 46 dead rhinos were found.

INTERACTIVE - Rhino poaching to skyrocket in Namibia in 2022
(Al Jazeera)

“We note with grave concern that our flagship park, Etosha National Park, is a hotbed of poaching,” Muyunda said, adding that the ministry and law enforcement have stepped up efforts to combat wildlife crime in the park to curb poaching.

This South African country is home to the world’s only remaining free-roaming black rhino and also makes up a third of the world’s remaining black rhinos.

Rhino poaching has plagued South Africa for decades, especially in neighboring South Africa and Botswana, leading to anti-poaching programs including strict control and dehorning or dehorning of rhinos to discourage poaching.

Namibia also has the second largest population of white rhinos in the world after South Africa.

The Save the Rhino Trust estimates that about 200 black rhinos roam freely in Namibia, mostly in the northeast.

Meanwhile, the number of elephant poachers in Namibia has declined over the years, from 101 in 2015 to a low of 4 killed last year.

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