November 2014

1,020 rhinos killed this year in South Africa

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This week (20 Nov), the horrific news has been announced that 1,020 rhinos have been killed already this year in South Africa, overtaking last year’s total of 1,004. Kruger National Park has been hit the hardest; approximately two-thirds of South Africa’s rhinos have been killed there. South Africa, which has by far the largest population of white rhinos, has seen an escalating poaching crisis since 2007 when only 13 were killed.

Rhinos are being killed for their horns, which fetch high prices in the illegal wildlife market in countries like Vietnam where it is perceived as a status symbol. Rangers on the ground now have to tackle armed and trained poaching gangs on a daily basis, risking their own lives in the fight to protect rhinos.

Although arrests have increased in South Africa, this has not, yet, had an impact on the number of rhinos being killed as the majority of arrests have been of Level 1 criminals (the actual poachers), with only nine Level 4 criminals arrested. Their court case is yet to be heard.

The future for African rhinos does look bleak. Depending on the rate that poaching increases, and depending on how well rhino populations continue to breed, overall deaths could overtake births sometime between 2015 and 2021. Important steps are underway to reverse this projected decline – such as increased law enforcement efforts and behaviour change campaigns in Vietnam, the main user country – but more is needed, particularly pressure on Mozambique to comply with the requirements laid down by CITES to tackle its role in the rhino poaching crisis.

Poaching figures

(14) Comments

  • Alisha
    20 November 2014, 19:02

    Please stop this!!!

  • kristian Keddie
    20 November 2014, 23:31

    its all over, these wonderful animals along with Elephants Tigers and Sharks will soon be extinct thanks to these Asians. Them and their [deleted] beliefs. Dirty scummy [deleted]

  • Anonymous commenter
    21 November 2014, 04:48

    Please help the Rhinos!

  • Peggy Preston
    21 November 2014, 11:13

    Too sad for words. Are we just the stupidest race ever?

  • Anonymous commenter
    21 November 2014, 15:09

    If poachers were paid more to protect the animal, then poaching wouldn't even exist. The average 'educated' (read secondary school) South Africa villager in the Kruger area makes only US$100 a month in high end, luxe safari camps. Compare this to what the camp owners charge guests per night, per person - US $1800. Talk about huge profit margins. Why not pay the local staff much, much more, so as to entice even the desperate ones to take on a proper job, rather than turn to poaching for a living.
    No doubt there's a demand in Asia, and one can't categorically accuse Asians of their beliefs. Witchery you still exists in the West, should one then categorically generalise all westerners as having dumb beliefs too?

    You can't nip demand and beliefs, but you can start nipping poaching in the butt just by paying decent salaries so your average unemployed, mildly educated South African villager has half a chance at making a living.

  • karen fox
    21 November 2014, 18:20

    Please stop the killing of these Rhinos for their horns.

  • SJ MUSIC
    23 November 2014, 08:36

    Who are the consumers of this horrific trade ? Who pays for the market ? Surely if consumers new the current state of affairs with this world tragedy, or were educated to help better understand the incredible importance of such animals they would be deterred from paying into this. Education education education - and let us all tell the people !!

  • vaishali dey
    27 November 2014, 02:10

    just for theirs horn human cant take their life... please stop killing them. rhinos are beauty of nature, please dont kill the nature's beauty....

  • Anonymous commenter
    28 November 2014, 10:51

    The rhino poaching is a terrible crime that has been lasting for too long

  • Ghazi
    01 December 2014, 22:49

    How can this still happen ? I can not believe it ! really upseting .This is crime again Wildlife ! against us . Poachers should be poached themselves in any location ! May God Bless my RHINO . Nevertheless the distance (France) I am feeling sad .

  • Anonymous commenter
    13 December 2014, 07:06

    Extreme action is required. Another species of animal must NOT be subjected to genocide by us. It's appalling. Nauseating. Ammoral. The poachers MUST be stopped.

    Shoot them. On sight. Dead. We have NO right to exterminate an entire species for MONEY or 'status'. Absolutely beyond belief. Elephants, whales, primates, rhinos, lions, dolphins... what is WRONG with us?

  • Eric
    14 December 2014, 08:47

    The solution is the death sentence for every poacher. Anything less will not discourage these subhumans from wiping out the species.

  • Christine
    16 December 2014, 09:53

    I just don't understand how someone could think a horn sitting on a mantle is more valuable that having a beautiful animal roaming free. I just don't understand it.

  • awesome anonymous
    22 January 2015, 00:31

    this is sooooo sad!
    me and friends have rhino fundraiser around our neigborhoods, we go door to door asking for donations, and selling newspapers for the rhinos

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