South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, has released the rhino poaching numbers for 2018. According to the Minister, a total of 769 rhinos got illegally killed by poachers in South Africa in 2018. This is a decrease of 259 rhino compared to 2017 when 1 028 rhino were killed for their horns. It is also the first time in 5 years that the annual figure is under 1000. Out of the 769 killed rhinos, a total of 421 rhino were poached in the Kruger National Park. One rhino was poached in the Marakele National Park. From 01 January to 31 December 2018, a total of 365 alleged rhino poachers and 36 alleged rhino horn traffickers were arrested in South Africa. A total of 229 alleged poachers were arrested inside and adjacent to the Kruger National Park, 40 more than the 189 arrested in 2017. There are currently 318 rhino poaching-related cases on the court roll involving 645 accused and 897 charges. 275 of these cases are trial-ready.
A total of 71 elephants were poached in the Kruger National Park between 1 January and 31 December 2018. One elephant was killed in KwaZulu-Natal which brings the total for South Africa to 72 elephant for 2018.