Namibia investigates surge in rhino poaching in Etosha park

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibian authorities are investigating a surge in rhino poaching that has seen 28 rhinos poached already this year, two-thirds of them in the Southern African country’s flagship Etosha National Park.

It was particularly concerning that 19 rhinos were poached in Etosha this year, given the park is a focus for conservation efforts and a major international tourist attraction, the environment ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Of the rhinos poached, 19 were critically-endangered black rhinos and nine near-threatened white rhinos.

No suspects have been arrested yet.

“We condemn the barbaric actions of those involved and urge anyone with any information that may assist us in apprehending the suspects to come forth,” the ministry’s statement said.

Rhinos are poached for their horns, which are used in East Asian countries for making traditional medicines and jewellery.

Sixty-seven rhinos were poached in Namibia in 2023, a significant decrease from the previous year, when rhino poaching reached an all-time high.

(Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Alexander Winning and Devika Syamnath)

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