Botswana authorities have reported that at least 100 wild rhinos had to be dehorned between March and May this year to prevent them from becoming victims of poaching.

The acting director of Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Cyril Taolo, said the decision was taken after the black and white rhino population had been depleted by illegal hunting over the past two years. Taolo told national television that the rhinos had been moved from the vast Okavango delta in northern Botswana to another area where he gave no further information.

“It was necessary for us to carry out this operation urgently to protect our rhino population, as well as to ensure our reputation as a safe haven for wildlife,” said Taolo.

Authorities in the African country found the intact bodies of 58 rhinos whose horns had been cut off earlier this month, Taolo said.

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