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Botswana has seen a huge spike in rhinoceros poaching over the past 5 years

Botswana says it lost 138 rhinoceros to poachers over the past five years.
Johan Ordonez
/
AFP via Getty Images
Botswana says it lost 138 rhinoceros to poachers over the past five years.

Botswana says it lost 138 rhinoceros to poachers over the past five years, compared to only two poached from 2012 to 2017.

There's been increased demand for the endangered species' horn by some east Asians who believe it has medicinal properties.

Speaking in parliament on Monday, Tourism Minister Philda Kereng also blamed international criminal syndicates moving in from neighboring countries.

South Africa, the epicenter of rhino poaching in the region, has ramped up patrols in national parks leading to a reduction in rhinos killed.

Botswana disclosed it had a combined total of just over 300 black and white rhinos at last year's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Panama.

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Ish Mafundikwa