South African Rhinos Face Extinction; Poachers Likely to Wipe Out Species by 2015

If poaching continues at the current rate, then there would be no rhinoceroses left in South Africaby 2015. South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in the world and is nearly 70-80% of the global figure. However, as estimated by famed famous rhino activist Karen Trendler, rhinos could go extinct by 2015.

In South Africa, poaching has increased  manifold. In 2008, poachers killed 83 rhinos and the number of rhinos increased to 132 in 2009, 333 in 2010 and in the last year the number stood at approximately 448.

Shockingly enough, this year, that too within the first three months, the number has fallen to 109. That means more than one rhino is being killed in one day.

This large hunt for rhinos is happening due to high demand in Asian countries. It is believed that rhino’s horn can cure diseases like cancer.

Even though there has been no scientific evidence that proves the rhino horn’s medicinal properties, there exists a huge black market value for their horns. It is estimated that one kg costs nearly $65,000.

Animal activists have gone all out to make sure the species is protected. But, unfortunately, the authorities and governments concerned have done little to help the rhinos live. Though there have been raids and arrests, there have been instances of government officials turning a blind eye toward increased poaching.

Karen Trendler is a veterinary nurse who has been working with rhinos for nearly 20 years and raised around 200 baby rhino orphans at a wildlife sanctuary in Pretoria. At present, she is busy building a rhino orphanage to help animals injured or orphaned due to poaching. This well-known animal activist is also known by the nickname Mama Rhino.

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