Johannesburg: At least 220 endangered rhinos were killed by poachers for their horns in South Africa since the beginning of this year, authorities said.
Among the slaughtered rhinos, 207 were killed in the Kruger National Park in the northeastern province of Limpopo, and the reserves in the central northern province of the North West and the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, said the Department of Environmental Affairs.
In 2011, a total of 448 rhinos were killed in South Africa, compared to 333 in 2010, reported Xinhua.
Conservationists have warned that the rhino in South Africa is facing its worst poaching crisis in decades.
If the killing trend continues at this rate, it is expected that at least 500 rhinos will be illegally slaughtered by the end of 2012.
A total of 146 arrests have been made in an effort to curb the illegal poaching of the rhino this year.
South Africa is home to the largest endangered rhino population in the world of about 20,000, having nearly 80 percent of the global total population of rhino.