Over 100 rhinos killed in South Africa

Johannesburg, Oct 25 (IANS) More than 100 rhinos have been killed in South Africa by poachers over the last month, pushing the toll to almost 800 so far this year, the government said Friday.

"The number of rhinos poached for their horns in South Africa since January 2013 has increased to 790," the department of environmental affairs said in a statement, reported Xinhua

Authorities have arrested 31 poachers over the last two weeks. "The total number of people facing rhino poaching-related charges has increased to 259," the statement added.

The Kruger National Park bordering Mozambique is worst affected, with 476 rhinos lost since January.

Rhino poaching has surged in recent years to feed black market demand mainly in Asia for their horns.

The government declared rhino poaching a national security risk in 2011.

South Africa has around 80 percent of the world's rhino population, estimated at more than 25 000.