Killings continue unabated in first days of 2011. Rhino poaching averages nearly one per day in 2010
January 2011. A total of 333 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2010, including ten critically endangered black rhinos, according to national park officials. The yearly total is the highest ever experienced in South Africa and nearly three times the 2009 figure when 122 rhinos were killed in the country. An additional five rhinos have been lost to poaching since the New Year.
146 rhinos killed in the Kruger in 2009
Kruger National Park, the world famous safari destination, was hardest hit losing 146 rhinos to poaching in 2010, authorities said. The park is home to the largest populations of both white and black rhinos in the country. Rhino poaching across Africa has risen sharply in the past few years, threatening to reverse hard-won population increases achieved by conservation authorities during the 20th century.
The first alarming yearly spike occurred in 2008 when 83 rhinos were lost. South Africa has responded by intensifying its law enforcement efforts, and made approximately 162 poaching arrests last year.