57 rhinos poached this year

More than 1 300 alleged poachers arrested in two years
The Zambezi region is the hotspot for wildlife crime, followed by Kavango East, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Kunene.
Ellanie Smit
In just over two years, more than 1 300 suspects have been arrested in connection with wildlife crime in Namibia.
Deputy Commissioner Barry de Klerk of the directorate of crime investigations in the Namibian police yesterday provided the status of wildlife crime in the country at the National Forum on Wildlife Protection and Law Enforcement in Windhoek.
De Klerk said that between 15 June 2022 to 2 July this year, 1 357 suspected wildlife criminals were arrested, of which 1 197 were Namibians. The rest are 78 Zambians, 65 Angolans, six Motswana, five each Asians and South Africans, as well as one Tanzanian.
De Klerk said they also looked at habitual criminals and of the 1 357 suspects arrested, 1 222 were arrested for the first time and 78 for the second time.
However, there was one old man who had been arrested eight times in connection with wildlife crime and five who had been apprehended seven times.
He said during the same period, 643 wildlife crime cases were registered.
The majority of the cases were reported in the Zambezi region (93), followed by Kavango East (82), Otjozondjupa (80), Omaheke (73) and Kunene (57).
According to De Klerk, the majority of species in wildlife crime cases during this period are antelopes (255), followed by 100 pangolins, 71 small mammals, 56 rhinos and 49 elephants.
Fifty-seven rhinos have already been poached so far this year, of which the majority, 29, were slaughtered in the Etosha National Park.
De Klerk said that last year 74 rhinos were poached and in 2022, 94 while in 2021, 53 rhinos were poached. He added that of the 57 rhinos poached so far this year, 40 were black rhinos and 17 white rhinos.
He said that eight of these rhinos were poached on private farms, while nine were in the conservation programme, two from the Waterberg Plateau Park and the rest from Etosha.
Only five elephants have been poached so far this year, compared to eight last year. Four elephants were poached in 2022, ten in 2021 and 12 in 2020.
De Klerk said that although the numbers of elephant poaching are low, the seizure of ivory is very high, but this is because Namibia is used by its neighbouring countries as a transit country to transport ivory.