Kruger National Park, the crown jewel of South Africa’s park system, has a serious problem with poaching. At least 249 animals of all types were killed by poachers in the park from 2004-2008, and an alarming rise in rhino poaching resulted in the deaths of 94 rhinoceros in 2009. Kruger is fighting back by putting more boots on the ground, some of them military. In October 2009 the chief executive of Kruger National Park announced that the park had hired 57 new rangers and that the South African government has agreed to begin military patrols along the borders of the park. Arrests of poachers have increased recently, though some complain that the sentences handed out to them are too light. Poaching, especially of rhinoceros, is difficult to stamp out due to the tremendous prices that wildlife products (such as rhinoceros horn) fetch on the black market.
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