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

Famine is over in South Sudan but the job has just begun Injured giant squid knocks paddle boarder in water during dramatic encounter in South Africa Man jailed for dangling baby from 15th floor of high-rise to get Facebook likes Catholic church report: 3300 dead since central Congo conflict began in August Thousands of wildebeests die in a river each year. That's actually a good thing, study finds Too hot to handle: Study shows Earth's killer heat waves worsening Gunmen attack Mali tourist resort, killing four, including two soldiers Somali survivors tell of restaurant siege by rebels; 17 dead At least 20 people being held hostage in Somalia's capital after suicide bomb attack The humanitarian catastrophe many of us know nothing about

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