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S.Africa police seize 100 rhino horns, four tiger carcasses

South African police said Thursday they had seized 100 rhino horns and four tiger carcasses in a sting operation at two farms in the northwest of a country battling poaching.

Home to about 80 percent of the world rhino population, South Africa has been the epicentre of poaching in recent years.

Last year it lost 769 rhinos to poachers, and more than 7,100 animals have been slaughtered over the past decade.

Three suspects were arrested during the operation, the Hawks, an elite police unit, said in a statement.

“Their arrest follows an intelligence driven operation by the Hawks,” it said.

It was not immediately clear where the horns and carcasses came from, but the famed Kruger National Park has traditionally been the poaching hotspot.

Demand for rhino horn is primarily fuelled by consumers in China and Vietnam where it is coveted as a traditional medicine, an aphrodisiac or as a status symbol, and can fetch up to $60,000 per kilogramme.