As Zimbabwe prepares to commemorate the World Rhino Day, concern has been raised over the continued poaching taking place in Southern Africa with Zimbabwe included, resulting in the animal facing extinction.
Statistics reveal that the Southern African rhino population has decreased by 90% since 1970 due to poaching, resulting in the African black rhino being declared extinct in 2011.
In an interview, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Head Management Services Geoffrey Matipano said preparations for the World Rhino Day commemorations on the 22nd of September are going on well amid concerns that 23 rhinos have been poached this year.
He said compared to last year where 52 rhinos were poached over the same period, there has been a decrease in the number of poached rhinos as a result of new government strategies to ensure the protection of the flagship species.
Environment Africa Executive Director Charlene Hewitt called on all Zimbabweans to work together to stop rhino poaching that has seen some locals being used by international syndicates to kill the animal.
Zimbabwe has just above 700 both black and white rhinos.
The year 2012 has been declared International Rhino Year in a move aimed at compelling countries to take measures to conserve, preserve and protect the rhinos.
The World Rhino commemorations will this year be held under the theme: ‘Extinction is Forever - Save The Rhino’.