In one of Namibia’s flagship attractions and largest wildlife sanctuaries, rhino poaching surged 93% in 2022, with 87 black and white rhinos poached for their horns.
It amounts to an all-time high, and nearly double the number of animals poached in 2021 (45).
The rise of poaching is fueled presumably by the illicit demand for rhino horn, which despite being made of nothing but keratin like our hair and fingernails, is wrongly believed to contain medicinal properties.
There is also a chance that due to the intense illegality of the object, it is viewed as a status symbol by those who can acquire it, as it also commands a huge price.
On Monday, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said poachers killed 61 black and 26 white rhinos mainly in Namibia’s largest park, Etosha. Namibia is the world’s last place where black rhinos can roam freely, and the nation contains about one-third of all the black rhinos left on the continent.
“We note with serious concern that our flagship park, Etosha National Park, is a poaching hotspot,” Muyunda said, adding that anti-poaching efforts are being stepped up significantly coming into the new year.