Windhoek, April 17 (IANS) Thirty-one rhino carcasses have been discovered in Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, the tourism minister said on Friday. This brings the total number of rhinos killed at Etosha to 38, and 43 for the whole country this year alone, according to Xinhua.
The tourism ministry announced a week ago that seven rhino carcasses had been discovered at Etosha, which has Namibia’s biggest rhino population.
In a statement on Friday, the minister said some of the carcasses were old while others were new and had horns intact.
An investigation has been launched to determine whether all the 31 rhinos were poached or they died of natural causes.
“The current levels at which our rhino are being killed illegally in the country need to be rapidly brought under control,” the statement signed by the Tourism Permanent Secretary Simeon Negumbo said.
Last year, the tourism ministry asked cabinet to sanction the use of the army in protecting rhino. Last week, cabinet also approved a second request for increasing the number of soldiers on the ground at conservancies across the country.
In addition, there are drones deployed to monitor any illegal activities especially at Etosha National Park.