Poaching still rife as dozens of rhinos, elephants die this year in Namibia



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WINDHOEK: Poaching continues to rear its ugly head in Namibia as 16 rhinos and as many elephants have been killed this year, said the Environment Ministry on Wednesday in a statement.

Eight rhino carcasses were discovered in the country’s flagship wildlife conservation, Etosha National Park, during aerial patrols conducted between June 23 and 25, said the statement.

After instituting the process of assessing the carcasses to establish the exact cause, the results indicated that seven of the rhinos were poached while one rhino died of natural causes.

Chief Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda said the recent discoveries bring the total poached rhinos to 16 for this year and the same figure was also recorded for poached elephants.

“The Ministry will continue with its efforts to strengthen effective crime prevention and law enforcement through coordinated and intergrated clusters of activities such as security planning, monitoring and adaptive management,” he added.

According to Muyunda, the ministry has since intensified patrols in protected areas, including their collaboration with the Namibian police, defense forces and other parties.

Meanwhile, investigations in these cases and other cases related to wildlife crimes are ongoing and the public has been urged to report an suspected cases of poaching and a reward of 60,000 Namibian dollars (4,630 U.S. dollars) has been put forward for any information leading to arrests.