Three Kruger National Park rangers have been arrested on suspicion of poaching rhinos that they were ‘protecting’.

“Slowly but surely we are coming to grips with people within our ranks who are sabotaging our efforts in this campaign. We still have confidence in those who are committed and loyal; and would like to encourage them to continue with the excellent work. We will not be deterred in ensuring that we are successful in continuing the fight against the scourge of wildlife crime in KNP,” said a Kruger National Park Managing Executive

This is obviously worrying news that those relied on to help protect animals at risk are sometimes truly evil people who only use their positions to further deplete already low rhino numbers.

Kruger National Park in South Africa is home to the largest concentration of rhinos in the world with around 8,000 to 9,000 white rhino individuals. South Africa too is a haven for rhinos with 80% of the world’s rhinos. Although practically losing an entire subspecies of white rhino last year, the last male northern white rhino passed away, the overall population of white rhinos is on the increase with them classified as near threatened. The southern white rhino which is the most abundant subspecies of rhino on the planet was almost wiped out in the late 19th century yet over 20,000 are predicted to be living throughout Africa.

A southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum) at Marwell Zoo, UK

The fate of the black rhino however is not as positive as the other African species. Listed as critically endangered, although increasing in population it is not safe, less than 2,500 remain in the world. The western black rhino was also declared extinct in 2011.

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