Prince Harry’s visited Kruger National Park today where he focussed on the anti-poaching efforts being used to protect South Africa’s endangered animals such as rhinos and elephants.
The Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, one of South Africa’s largest tourist attractions, has suffered from some of the highest rates of rhino poaching in the country. In 2014, around 700 of the 1,000 rhinos killed for their horns were in the Kruger National Park.
Prince Harry visited the Mission Joint Operations Centre, which coordinates the efforts of the agencies involved in the anti-poaching efforts in Kruger. The centre was set up to fight rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park by the South African Police Service.
The Prince was given an update on the latest situation within Kruger, and heard more about the work being done to address the poaching crisis including forensic methods used at poaching scenes.
Sharp rise in rhino poaching in South Africa
Rhino poaching within South Africa has nearly tripled since 2011 – jumping from 448 to 1215 in 2014, according to figures from South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs. Poaching arrests during that time have also increased from 232 in 2011 to 386 in 2014.
Elephant poaching up
Kruger has become a recent target area for elephant poaching. In 2015, 19 elephants are reported to have been killed. Twelve of the 19 elephants were poached in just two months: throughout September and October.