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The number of rhinos killed in South Africa by poachers has declined in 2018 for the third year in a row, with only 769 beasts to be slaughtered, welcomed on Wednesday the ministry of the Environment.
Last year, a total of 769 elephants that have been victims of trafficking, 1028 2017, said the ministry, adding that this number had fallen under a thousand for the first time in five years.
“This decline reflects not only the successful implementation of our strategy to fight anti-poaching), but also confirms the commitment of women and men committed to the heart of the fight for the protection of the species “, welcomed the minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
South Africa contains approximately 80% of the world’s population of white rhinos.
The poachers kill them to sell illegally the horns. Composed of keratin, a material identical to that which composes the nails, they are very popular in Asia, where traditional medicine has attributed therapeutic properties.
The demand has exploded in recent years, and nourished an important traffic from Africa. On the black market, a kilogram of rhino horn is currency up to 55 000 euros.
A total of 365 suspected rhino poachers have been arrested in 2018 in Africa, as well as 36 suspected traffickers, according to statistics released by the ministry.
In terms of the judiciary, 78 of the 82 records of poaching deemed to have been sanctioned convictions, according to these numbers.
“The fight against poaching continues to be a priority,” said the minister, ” even if the figures for 2018 are encouraging, it is essential to extend our efforts.”
Its services have also regretted that the traffic of ivory has increased in the last year in the country, with 72 elephants were killed.