There has been a surge in the slaughter of white rhinos in KwaZulu-Natal game reserves, the Durban based Witness newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Since January the carcasses of 12 rhinos, which had been killed for their horns, have been found in the game reserves run by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW).

EKZNW crime working group chairman Rod Potter told the Witness that on average only two or three rhino are poached a year in the province, and in some years, none at all.

“It is of extreme concern to us and we are working closely with the SA Police Services’ organised crime unit members to solve these crimes,” he was quoted as saying.

Rhinoceros horns are used in traditional Asian medicine and for dagger handles in Yemen and Oman.