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Rhino Poaching Shifts to S. Africa’s South East as Killings Rise

  • Number of rhinos killed in 6 months at 57% of 2021’s total
  • Losses in KwaZulu-Natal more than triple last year’s number
A veterinarian at a rhino orphanage pets a black rhino calf at an undisclosed location in South Africa.

A veterinarian at a rhino orphanage pets a black rhino calf at an undisclosed location in South Africa.

Photographer: Guillem Sartorio/AFP/Getty Images

The number of rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa, which has the world’s biggest population of the animals, is set to rise for a second year as criminals shift their focus to the country’s south eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.

In the six months to the end of June 259 of the animals were killed illegally. That’s 10 more than the same period last year and equivalent to 57% of the total for 2021. KwaZulu-Natal was the hardest with a loss of 133 rhino, more than triple the 33 killed in the first half of last year, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said in a statement on Monday.