In 2011, Kruger National Park’s white rhino population stood at 10,621, while the much rarer black rhino population held 415 individuals. The report documents that by 2019, the relentless poaching of these animals for their horns had driven these numbers down to just 3,529 white rhinos and 268 black rhinos.
Commenting on the news, Tusk’s Chief Executive, Charlie Mayhew stated: “The figures recently released from Kruger are incredibly alarming. As host to the largest rhino population in the world, we’ve always known that Kruger National Park is a prime target for illegal poaching, but these figures are more worrying than ever, and suggest that the reductions in poaching are because there are fewer left to poach. The Park’s vast size and long border with Mozambique makes it incredibly difficult to monitor and police, despite the tireless efforts of the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the rhinos and other threatened species. More investment is needed to provide those on the frontline with the resources they need to combat this extraordinary level of wildlife loss, and Tusk will strive to continue providing that funding to reverse this shocking decline. In particular we hope that Tusk’s project partner, the Southern African Wildlife College, and its unique airborne, free-running canine unit can play a key role in turning the tide.”