Record number of rhinos poached in South Africa in 2013

To match Feature AFRICA-POACHING/By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – More than 1,000 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa in 2013, a record number and an increase of over 50 percent from the previous year, the country’s department of environmental affairs said on Friday. The data is sure to ring conservation alarm bells about a downward population spiral in a country that is home to almost all of Africa and the world’s rhinos, and it may bring renewed pressure on the government to do something to halt the slayings. In 2013, 1,004 of the massive animals were illegally killed in South Africa, compared with 668 the previous year and 448 in 2011. Most of the killings are taking place in South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park, which lost 606 rhinos last year and 425 in 2012.