Rhino Poaching in Africa on the Rise; 11 Already Killed This Year

Cruelty has just gone worse. It has been recorded that poachers are killing rhinos at an alarming  rate. Heartless humans are said to have killed over 11 rhinos just to take out their horns this year – and we are just into the first month of the year. As official figures show, the illegal slaughter of rhinos in South Africa surged to a record high last year with a final death toll of 448. The total, representing one rhino lost nearly every 20 hours, marked a significant increase over 2010 numbers. This could also mean that the  country is losing its war against poachers.

Campaigners warn that, if the trend continues, the animal’s future could be in jeopardy. The 2011 toll includes 19 critically endangered black rhinos, of which fewer than 5,000 remain in the wild.

The killing continues unabated, despite increased law enforcement efforts. South African officials made 232 poaching-related arrests in 2011, compared to 165 the previous year.

Sentences imposed for rhino crimes have also increased, with poachers and horn smugglers receiving as long as 16 years in prison. Rhinos in other African and Asian countries are also being targeted.

In October, WWF announced the extinction of rhinos inVietnam. The last Javan rhino in the country was killed by poachers and its horn removed.

Rangers found eight rhino carcasses with their horns missing in two sections of Kruger park on Tuesday, South African National Parks (SANParks) said. In a follow-up anti-poaching operation on Wednesday night, field rangers came into contact with a group of suspected poachers.

There was a shootout between the rangers and poachers, leaving two suspected poachers fatally wounded. Both were from neighboringMozambique, in common with many poachers motivated by an apparent chance to escape poverty.

There has been an incidence involving the upload of a video on YouTube by South African citizen Mark Warren outlining the statistics on rhino hunting which has amassed huge popularity.

Will this inhuman act of killing animals ever stop? What do you think you can do about it? Scribble in your suggestions in the comment space below.

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