Namibia sees rhino hunting drop as elephants face increased threat

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Photo credits to Wikimedia Commons, “Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros at Kaziranga national park in Assam India” by Mayank1704 used under CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo credits to Wikimedia Commons, “Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros at Kaziranga national park in Assam India” by Mayank1704 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Namibia experienced a decrease in rhino poaching this year, registering 42 cases compared to 87 the previous year, but saw an increase in elephant poaching, reaching eight cases, up from four the year before, an official said Monday.

In an interview with Xinhua, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said that while rhino poaching numbers have decreased by half, elephant poaching numbers are on the rise.

“Poaching is dynamic. While we are winning the fight against the illegal killing of rhinos, elephant poaching is picking up,” he said.

Muyunda noted that the ministry and law enforcement officers are working tirelessly to bring poaching under control.

He revealed that rhinos were mainly targeted in Namibia’s largest park, the Etosha National Park, where 25 rhinos were found dead this year, while 17 were killed on private and custodian farms.

The elephants killed were from the Kavango and Zambezi regions communal areas.

Elephant poaching in Namibia has declined over the years, dropping from a high of 101 in 2015 to a low of four elephants poached last year.

Last week, law enforcement operations in the country’s Zambezi region led to the seizure of 39 elephant tusks and the arrest of three suspects involved in transnational poaching.

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