South Africa Rhino Deaths Drop Second Year Amid Record Arrests

The number of rhinoceroses killed by poachers in South Africa last year fell 10 percent as arrests for illegal hunting of the animals more than doubled to a record.

A total of 1,054 rhinos were slaughtered for their horns in 2016, down from 1,175 a year earlier, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement on its website. In the Kruger National Park, a game reserve about the same size as Wales, the carcasses of 662 rhinos were found last year, down from 826 in the previous 12 months.

Rhino horn demand has climbed in nations including China and Vietnam, because of a belief that they can cure diseases such as cancer and even ease a hangover. The price of the horns is as much as $95,000 per kilogram in Asia, more valuable than gold. Rhino poaching deaths fell in 2015 following at least four consecutive annual increases.

The South African Police Service reported the arrests of a record 680 poachers and traffickers last year, up…

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