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Elephant poaching at an all time high of 71 in Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park (KNP) elephant poaching has reached an all-time high with 71 deaths in 2018 for their ivory.

Protection Ivory was launched at Kruger yesterday and will be focused on elephant poaching on the north of the Olifants River.

The elephant population is estimated at 20 000 with a growing rate of 4% per year since the 2017 census, poaching should not be allowed.

Records show that poaching is increasing with 24 elephant deaths in 2015 in the Kruger Park, 46 in 2016 and 67 in 2017.

As all focus had been placed on rhino poachers on the south of the Olifants River, the elephants were suffering as elephant poaching was at an all time low in 2012 when only 2 elephants were killed.

The Citizen reported that in 2016 a pilot project with horses was launched by Phalaborwa section ranger Karien Keet, where horses were trained for an endurance of up to 30km per day and it was found that they were able to get closer to animals than a ranger on foot.

There are 16 members who are fully equipped and trained field rangers who conduct the mounted patrols with their focus on fence checking.

Keet has since been integrating tracker dogs to work along side the horses.

According to Xanatsani South regional ranger Derek Mashale, most of the poachers come from Mozambique and utilise the river to gain access. With focus on the rhino, the elephants have become an easy target.

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