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231 rhinoceros poached in South Africa in H1

By Xinhua

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- A total of 231 rhinoceros were killed in South Africa for their horns in the first half of 2023, down 28 from that for the same period last year, a senior government official said Tuesday.
   The cooperation between government departments and private security led to the decline in rhinoceros poaching, said Barbara Creecy, minister of forestry, fisheries and the environment, at a press briefing.
   "In the first six months of this year, our hard work with both the police and the National Prosecuting Authority has led to the conviction of 31 offenders," said Creecy.
   In Skukuza, the largest rest camp at the country's renowned Kruger National Park, one suspect found guilty of killing three rhinoceros and possessing unlawful arms and ammunition was sentenced to an effective 32-year imprisonment, according to the minister.
   South African cabinet approved the National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking in May, which aims to break the illicit value chain of wildlife trafficking in the country and beyond its borders, Creecy said.
   Although currently, the main focus of the strategy is rhinoceros, it also aims to address the illegal trade in and poaching of other species that are threatened by trafficking syndicates, like abalone, she said, adding that the government has introduced cameras in the areas with a high concentration of rhinoceros.  Enditem
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