Rhino Poaching in South Africa killing our endangered species
South Africa holds over 90% percent of the worlds Rhino population.
By the end of 2011 the illegal poaching or rather slaughtering of rhinos in South Africa rapidly increased to a shocking record high, with a death toll of 448.
South Africa has an estimated population of 5000 Rhino’s; the death toll indicated a killing of a Rhino every 20 hours. If Rhino poaching continues at this rate we are sure to lose the species by the end of 2016.
The Kruger National Park has lost a total of 20 Rhino’s within just 10 days of the New Year. On wednesday two suspected poachers were killed in shoot out with officials after the discovery of 8 freshly killed Rhino carcasses.
The Kruger National Park is bigger than Swaziland thus making it extremely hard to patrol. In 2011 the park lost over half of the total of Rhino’s to have been brutally slain that year. Private game ranges such as Aquila in the Western Cape have also fell victim to poaching.
Read more about Rhino poaching statistics
Why are they killing Rhinos?
Asians believes that a Rhino’s horn holds secret medical capability and is considered a remedy for hangovers and treatment for cancer. And with the increase in demand in Asia, we have seen illegal poaching of the Rhinocerous nearly tripled since 2009.
The Rhino horn is extremely expensive in Asia; Chinese government has invested millions into the manufacturing traditional medicine. In Vietnam, the Rhino horn is considered as symbol of luxury and commodity amongst the wealthy.
In October 2011 the WWF announced that the Javan Rhino was extinct in its native country…Vietnam.
The Rhino horn has no medical properties however many fail to disregard this myth. Experts believe that Asian media are re-enforcing superstitions to boost the consumption of rhino horn products in China.
Law Enforcement officials believe that they are not dealing with just your average poacher, the nature of the crime has become much more sophisticated and brutal. The rhino poaching syndicates are operating at night with heavy machinery, armory, veterinarian and even helicopters. Illegal poachers now have the backing of many underground organizations such as the Mafia or Chinese Triads.
What are we doing about Rhino Poaching?
Stricter sentences are being imposed; a Rhino Horn smuggler can get up to 16 years in prison.
The arrested related to Rhino poaching have also increased
Pressure on the Vietnamese Government has been applied.
The South African Military have called on to assist in the patrolling of the Games Reserves.
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