49% Increase in Rhino Poaching Reported for 2012

Despite efforts to protect them, Africa's rhinos are killed by poachers on a regular basis

By on January 12th, 2013 19:51 GMT

The South African government recently made it public news that, according to a new report put together by conservationists in charge of looking after wildlife in this part of the world, as many as 668 rhinos inhabiting these regions were killed by poachers throughout the course of the year 2012.

Given the fact that the year 2011 witnessed “just” 448 South African rhinos being slaughtered, this basically means that rhino poaching activities upped by as much as 49%.

Mongabay reports that 425 of 2012's total number of rhino killings took place in the Kruger National Park, which also happens to be South Africa's top safari destination.

Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that concerns are now being raised with respect to how poachers are affecting the incomes generated by tourism in these regions.

As previously explained, rhinos are killed by poachers for the sole purpose of taking their horns, which are later on sold on the black market and used to manufacture various compounds which some regard as having medicinal properties.

More often than not, the horns taken from these poached animals make their way into China and Vietnam, as apparently people living in these two countries are firmly convinced that traditional medicine made with the help of such animal parts is quite efficient in dealing with various medical conditions.

This latest report on poaching activities focuses on rhinos alone, yet the fact remains that Africa's forest and bush elephants are also being threatened by these hunters.

As pointed out by Hillary Clinton and the World Wildlife Fund, poaching is also a threat to national and international security, which is why efforts must be made to put an end to this practice.

“We need trade experts to track the movement of goods and help enforce existing trade laws. We need finance experts to study and help undermine the black markets that deal in wildlife. And most importantly, perhaps, we need to reach individuals, to convince them to make the right choices about the goods they purchase,” Hillary Clinton stated.

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668 South African rhinos were killed by poachers in just 12 months' time
   668 South African rhinos were killed by poachers in just 12 months' time