In recent years Kruger National Park has had to recruit more guards to protect rhinos against illegal poaching
Hundreds of rhinos are to be evacuated from South Africa's Kruger National Park to save them from poachers.
The move, which is part of a plan to curb illegal hunts for rhino horn, wasannounced by the environment minister.
Park authorities said they could relocate up to 500 rhinos, which can each weigh more than a tonne.
South Africa is home to more than 80% of Africa's rhinos. Illegal poaching has risen sharply from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013.
Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the relocations from the Kruger National Park, coupled with the creation of "rhino strongholds", could "allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow."
"South Africa, with its large rhino populations, has borne the brunt of rhino poaching. We remain confident that our efforts in implementing the integrated strategic approach will build on our successful track record of conserving rhino," she said.
The rhinos may be moved to other areas of lower poaching rates such as state-owned or private nature parks, areas within the Kruger Park closer to the Mozambique border, or even to neighbouring countries, according to the minister.
The new initiative will be supported by the South African government's Security Cluster to work on tougher penalties for those caught hunting rhinos illegally. ...more