South Africa: hunters killed more than 40 rhinos this year

The poaching last year set a new record with 1,215 animals killed for their horns.

Poachers killed 41 rhinos in South Africa so far this year to get their horns, officials of the South African National Parks.

The horns – composed only of keratina- are sold for a fortune on the black market because of the almost magical properties ascribed to them in Asia, especially in Vietnam. The pieces are reduced to powder to be used in traditional remedies.

The slaughter of rhinos is exacerbated in recent years in South Africa with 1,215 animals killed last year, compared to 1,004 in 2013, 668 in 2012 and 448 in 2011, according to official statistics.

According to experts, the death rate will soon exceed that of births among about 20,000 South African rhinos, which constitute 80% of the world population of this species.

To avoid detection, hunters often use anesthetics. After the horns were cut with an ax, and when the animal is awake, dies from injuries after a long agony.

“International traffic organized of rhino horn undermines our efforts,” he acknowledged in late January, Environment Minister Edna Molewa.

 

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