South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has finally released the rhino poaching numbers for 2017. According to the DEA, a total of (at least) 1028 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2017 (2016: 1054). Out of the 1028 rhinos poached, 504 rhinos (2016: 662) got illegally killed by poachers in Kruger National Park.
Whilst there has been a decrease in the number of rhino killed for their horns in the Kruger National Park, the number of rhino poached unfortunately increased in KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and North West.
A total of (at least) 67 elephants were poached in the Kruger National Park and one was poached in KwaZulu-Natal between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017.
A total of 502 alleged rhino poachers and 16 alleged traffickers were arrested nationally in 2017 bringing the total figure to 518. This also includes 21 "officials" that got arrested due to poaching-related offences. The total number of arrests represents a decrease from 2016 when a total of 680 poachers and traffickers were arrested.
For the Kruger National Park, the number of arrests of alleged poachers stood at 446 in 2017 – this comprises 189 arrested inside the Kruger National Park, and 257 adjacent to the Park. This represents an increase compared to 2016 when a total of 417 were arrested inside and adjacent to the Kruger National Park. A total of 220 weapons were seized in rhino-related incidents both inside and outside the Kruger National Park in 2017.