WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) — Rhino poaching in Namibia increased dramatically last year, with nearly twice as many of the critically endangered animals killed than the year before, the country’s environment ministry says.
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism released figures on Monday showing that 87 rhinos were poached in 2022, up from 45 in 2021.
It was “a serious concern,” the ministry said.
Of the 87 rhinos poached last year, 61 were black rhinos and 26 white rhinos, the ministry said. And 46 of those rhinos were poached at the Etosha National Park, Namibia’s flagship game reserve.
Namibia has more than one-third of the world’s black rhinos and the Etosha National Park is home to the biggest single black rhino population, according to the Save The Rhino organization.
Save The Rhino estimates there are approximately 6,000 black rhinos left and around 15,000 white rhinos. Those two species are only found in the wild in Africa.
Conservation groups have warned that the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic could undermine efforts to stop poaching.