South Africa's department of environmental affairs says 455 of the country's endangered rhinoceros have been illegally hunted and killed so far this year.

Officials said the number killed this year is already more than the 448 rhinos killed all of last year.

Kruger National Park saw the most rhinos killed this year with 272, which is 20 more than were killed there last year, according to South African Press Association.

Department spokesman Albi Modise said Tuesday that 207 people had been arrested for illegal trading in rhino horn.

South Africa is home to some 20,000 rhinos, more than any other country.

Growing Asian demand for rhino horn, a purported remedy for various illnesses, is believed to be behind the poaching spike