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Rhino poacher in South Africa sentenced to 77 years in jail

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A rhino poacher in South Africa was handed the stiff penalty of 77 years behind bars — a sentence aimed at deterring others from killing and selling the beasts' precious horns.

Mandia Chauke was arrested in Kruger National Park in 2011 for killing the rhino.

South Africa's national parks service spokesman Reynold Thakhuli said the harsh prison sentence shows that the nation's courts are taking seriously the crime of poaching and its effect on wildlife and the tourism trade, The Associated Press reported.

The parks service reported that Kruger National Park has lost a total of 370 rhinos to poachers this year alone. Sixty-two have been arrested in connection with the poaching, AP reported.

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