Twenty-four rhinos have been killed in South Africa in about two weeks, the environment ministry has confirmed.
It says seven carcasses were found at Kruger National Park, another seven in Mpumalanga province, six in KwaZulu-Natal and four in Western Cape.
The ministry has condemned the continued poaching of rhinos for their horns, saying nine suspected poachers have been arrested in the first 14 days of December.
It has encouraged the public to assist with any information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of poachers.
South Africa is home to nearly 80% of Africa’s rhino population, which stands at less than 30,000.
Hundreds are killed every year for their horns – most of which are destined for Asia where rhino horn is an ingredient in medicine and herbal remedies.
The environment department says it will give an update on the total number of rhinos killed for their horns in 2021 early in 2022.