The number of rhinos poached this month could hit a new high despite the best efforts of authorities, MPs hear.
"So far [this year]... we have lost more than 500 rhino. [As of] yesterday [Monday], the figure was at 549... The problem is still increasing," environmental affairs deputy director-general Fundisile Mketeni said.
Responsible for biodiversity and conservation in his department, Fundisile was briefing members of Parliament's environmental affairs portfolio committee.
According to figures tabled at Tuesday's briefing, there has been a sharp increase in poaching activity in recent months. They show 25 rhino were illegally killed for their horns in June this year.
This rose to 49 in July, 63 in August, 62 in September, and 75 last month. So far this month, 40 rhino have been killed....