South Africa Exports Rhinos Because They Are Unsafe at Home

South Africa has moved 100 rhinos to neighboring states as it struggles to protect the endangered animals within its own borders.

The rhinos were moved out of the country through private partnerships and government initiatives last year, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told reporters in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital. They have been moved to two nearby nations, she said, declining to be more specific due to security reasons.

“Through this method we aim to create rhino strongholds: areas where rhino can be cost-effectively protected while applying conservation husbandry to maximize population,” she said.

In the last quarter, 56 of the animals were moved out of dangerous areas in the Kruger National Park, which is about the size of Israel, to areas that are better protected within South Africa, according to Molewa. Poachers killed a record 1,215 rhinos in South Africa last year, including 827 in Kruger, up from a total of 1,004 in 2013.

This year additional rhino translocations are planned, South African National Parks CEO Fundisile Mketeni, told reporters. “The plan is to look at 200 which we feel is acceptable in spreading the population,” he said.

There are about 9,000 rhinos roaming Kruger. South Africa has a total of 18,900 white rhino and 2,068 black rhino, according to Mketeni.

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