Rhino killings soar in South Africa

Last updated 22:32 28/11/2012
BRUTAL TRADE: Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in April this year.
Reuters
BRUTAL TRADE: Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in April this year.

Relevant offers

Africa

Veteran big game hunter dies after elephant, felled by gunfire, collapses on him Freed Nigerian schoolgirls reunite with families three years after kidnapping Christian sect members attack Congo prison, free leader, government says Heavy gunfire erupts in Ivory Coast's two main cities after army mutiny World Health Organisation confirms second Ebola case in Congo outbreak Congo death signals new Ebola outbreak in central Africa - ministry South Africa captures four of five escaped lions from Kruger Park War forces two million South Sudanese children to flee homes Hundreds of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean over weekend - survivors 82 girls released by Boko Haram extremist group arrive in Nigeria's capital

South Africa says at least 588 rhinos have been killed by poachers this year alone, the worst recorded year in decades.

The nation's Department of Environmental Affairs says most of the killings occur in South Africa's Kruger National Park, a region of about 19,400 square kilometers in the country's northeast.

From the 1990s to 2007, rhino killings in South Africa by poachers averaged about 15 a year. However, the number has soared as buyers in Asia pay the United States street value of cocaine for rhino horn.

Rhino horn is made of keratin, a tough protein found in human fingernails. There's a belief in Asia that taking ground-up horn cures diseases. However, no medical evidence supports that. 

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content