Hundreds of rhinos to be evacuated from Kruger National Park in South Africa

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SKUKUZA, South Africa — Hundreds of rhinos are to be evacuated from South Africa’s Kruger National Park to save them from poachers, according to the BBC.

The move, which is part of a plan to curb illegal hunts for rhino horn, was announced by the environment minister.

Park authorities say they could relocate as many as 500 rhinos.

Poaching has risen sharply in South Africa, from 13 incidents in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013. South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of Africa’s rhinos.

Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the relocations from the Kruger National Park, along with the creation of “rhino strongholds,” could “allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow.”

The rhinos could be moved to areas of lower poaching rates such as state-owned or private nature parks or even to neighboring countries.

The Kruger National Park, which is of a similar size to Wales or Israel, is thought to be home to as few as 8,400 white rhinos.

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