South Africa has again lost a record number of rhinos in 2014 due to poaching with over 1,000 rhinos killed.
South Africa is home to more than 90 per cent of the rhino populations with about 20,000 specimens of which 1,116 were killed by mid December. Experts said the number was expected to reach 1,200 by the holidays, when poachers are the most active.
Previous years saw 333 rhinos killed in 2010, 448 in 2011, 668 in 2012 and 1,004 killed in 2013, according to numbers by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
About 250 rhino poachers were arrested throughout the year.
More recently, two poachers were shot dead on Monday after a gun fight broke down between park rangers and them.
“The rangers were on patrol when they came across a trio of armed men who started shooting,” said Kruger National Park spokesman William Mabasa.
The third man managed to escape.