Fourteen rhino have been killed in a space of 24 hours bringing the tally of rhino killed for their horn to 327 in South Africa since January.
The tally includes seven rhinos that had already been dehorned but were killed for their stumps in the Machadadorp area, five were adults, two calves; two in the Thabazimbi area and two in the Vaalwater area.
Dehorning rhino has been seen as a way to protect these gentle herbivores, but the horn does slowly grow back and the extortionate price of rhino horn on the black market, up to £40,000 per kilo, means that even the smallest scrappings are of value to the poachers.
This sudden upsurge on top of the already devastating wave of poaching may be a result of the trade talks at the recent CITES meeting with traders anticipating a lift on the trade ban and stockpiling in preparation. Whatever the motive, this horrendous wave of slaughter in South Africa now seems to be out of control.
"This latest news is a great sadness to us but we will continue our fight to save the rhino in Africa and Asia to ensure its survival for future generations," says DSWF CEO, Sally Case.