Thirty-year-old Najin (L) and nineteen-year-old Fatu, the last two northern white rhinos are seen in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia County, Kenya, Aug. 23, 2019. (Xinhua/John Okoyo)
From January to June this year, the number of rhinos poached around the country stood at 318, compared with 386 during the same period last year.
CAPE TOWN, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Africa has seen a decrease in rhino poaching due to intensified anti-poaching efforts, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy said on Sunday.
From January to June this year, the number of rhinos poached around the country stood at 318, compared with 386 during the same period last year, Creecy said in a statement issued to mark the World Rhino Day.
The Kruger National Park in northern South Africa bears the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 190 rhinos in the first six months of this year, according to Creecy.
The minister said the park, one of Africa's biggest game reserves, saw a total of 1,202 incursions and poacher activities in the first six months of this year.
A caretaker touches Najin, one of the world's last two remaining female northern white rhinos, in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county, northern Kenya, March 30, 2018. (Xinhua/Lyu Shuai)
"Although the battle to end poaching is far from over, we are proud to say that our efforts as a government, as private rhino owners, and as concerned citizens, are paying dividends as we continue to implement the Integrated Strategic Approach to the management of rhinos," said Creecy.
She pledged to redouble efforts to make sure that communities on the borders of South African parks benefit from conservation and the biodiversity economy so they are not vulnerable to recruitment by syndicated poaching operations.
Creecy said South Africa has continued to battle organized crime targeting its national and private parks as demands for rhino horn increase.
South Africa is home to about 85 percent of the world's rhino population, making it the center of the poaching crisis. ■