South Africa recently announced progress in fighting the illegal rhino horn trade by working closely with different stakeholders. The country’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment said 124 rhinos were poached in Kruger National Park in 2022, a 40 percent drop from 2021. The total number poached nationwide fell from 451 to 448.
The national police, provincial officials and wildlife groups teamed up to arrest four key members of criminal gangs active in KwaZulu-Natal province. In 2022, 132 people were arrested for rhino poaching across South Africa. Attention to financial crimes also led to 26 traffickers and 13 money laundering suspects being brought to justice.
The Forestry Minister credited the gains to “the strong anti-poaching actions we have carried out. The latest figures show that teamwork between government agencies, police and international organizations has proven effective.”
WWF, the global wildlife charity, also provides equipment, training and technical expertise to boost South Africa’s abilities to protect wildlife and catch poachers. It praised South Africa’s openness about poaching figures and said partnerships are crucial for saving wildlife everywhere.
South Africa’s progress shows that building close cooperation between law enforcement, government and NGOs can translate into real protection for endangered species on the ground. Joint efforts to disrupt sophisticated poaching rings are key to stopping the illegal rhino horn trade devastating rhino populations across Africa.