The Kruger National Park (KNP) has sold 170 white rhinos to private ranches over the last two years, Xinhua quoted the country's Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa as saying Monday.
This was necessary to improve the conservation status of white rhinos in the country by establishing rhino populations on private ranches, Xinhua reported citing the minister.
KNP has been a target of rhino poaching because of its long international boundary. It has lost 381 rhinos, official statistics reveal.
Selling rhinos could also generate income for the KNP, Molewa said.
She, however, said no black rhinos have been sold.
Black rhinos are a critically endangered species, of which fewer than 5,000 remain in the wild worldwide.
South Africa is home to more than 70 percent of the world's rhino population. But illegal poaching stoked by growing demand for rhino horns has diminished South Africa's rhino population, which currently stands at about 10,000.
--IANS (Posted on 09-09-2013)