JOHANNESBURG – A South African official has disputed a reported assertion by a former Mozambican president that rangers in South Africa's biggest wildlife park have killed nearly 500 suspected poachers from Mozambique since 2010.
Paul Daphne, a spokesman for South Africa's national parks service, said Friday that the statistics announced by the former president, Joaquim Chissano, are inflated.
Daphne says the parks service does not release data on the deaths of suspected poachers.
Many poachers operating in South Africa's Kruger National Park cross the border from neighboring Mozambique.
Home to most of the world's rhinos, South Africa reported 1,215 rhino poachings last year amid rising demand for rhino horns in parts of Asia, including Vietnam. Nearly half of South Africa's roughly 20,000 rhinos live in the Kruger park.