28 Jun 2017 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 28 JUN (NAMPA) Eight rhino carcasses, the majority that of animals killed by poachers this year, were discovered in the Etosha National Park between 23 and 25 June.
In a media statement issued by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Chief Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda on Wednesday said the carcasses were discovered during aerial patrols.
He said the ministry has assessed the carcasses to establish the exact cause of death.
The results of the assessment indicated that seven of the eight animals died due to poaching and one died of natural causes, Muyunda said.
This brings the total number of rhinos killed by poachers this year to 16, the same as the number of elephants poached this year.
Muyunda said poaching is a big concern and tackling it remains a priority to the ministry.
We will do anything possible within the framework of our law and policies to bring poaching under control as it robs the nation of valuable resources, he said.
He further said Etosha has experienced a shocking wave of rhino poaching over the past few years, a situation which can be detrimental to the tourism sector and the local economy.
The ministry has since intensified patrols in protected areas, including by collaborating with the Namibian Police, the Namibian Defence Force and other relevant authorities.
Muyunda said the ministry will continue its efforts to strengthen law enforcement and effective crime prevention through coordinated and integrated clusters of activities which include security planning and monitoring.
He said investigations in cases related to wildlife crimes are ongoing and the public should report any suspected cases of poaching to the ministry or the nearest police station.
Any person who will provide the ministry or other relevant authorities with information leading to the successful arrest and prosecution of persons suspected of poaching will be rewarded with N.dollars 60 000, Muyunda said.