The Namibian Minister of the Environment and Tourism has revealed that 57 rhinos were poached in Namibia in 2018. Minister Pohamba Shifeta said 120 suspected poachers were arrested and called for harsher punishments for those found guilty of poaching.

David Barritt, chief campaigner for Network for Animals, welcomed the minister’s decision to seek more severe penalties. “Poachers are usually part of Asian-led crime syndicates who seek the rhinos’ horns for sale in Vietnam and other Asian countries,” he said. “The only way to stop the poaching is severe penalties and greater law enforcement activities.”

He said that Namibia has the largest population of endangered black rhinos in the world, the estimated population is around 1600. “This means that in one year, poachers killed 3.5% of a severely threatened population.”