South Africa rhino poaching hits record: WWF

Nov 03, 2011
Wildlife group WWF said that rhino poaching in South Africa has hit a new record high, with 341 of the animals lost to poachers so far this year as black-market demand for rhino horn soars.

Rhino poaching in South Africa has hit a new record high, with 341 of the animals lost to poachers so far this year as black-market demand for rhino horn soars, wildlife group WWF said Thursday.

Poaching deaths have already outstripped last year's total of 333, the previous record, WWF said.

Officials blame the poaching surge on organised selling rhino horn for use in Asian medicinal treatments -- especially in Vietnam, where it is believed to cure cancer.

"In order to save rhinos from extinction, the criminal syndicates operating between South Africa and Vietnam must be uncovered and shut down for good," Joseph Okori, WWF's African rhino programme coordinator, said in a statement.

"Vietnam should follow South Africa's example and start sending poachers, traders, smugglers and sellers to jail."

WWF also confirmed last week that rhinos have gone extinct in Vietnam.

The organisation said the country's last Javan rhino was found shot with its horn removed.

Booming demand has driven the price to half a million dollars per horn, according to the Convention on International Trade in .

South Africa, which lost just 13 to poaching in 2007, has responded to the surge by dispatching army troops to fight and stepping up arrests.

But it has struggled to stop poaching syndicates that use helicopters, night vision equipment and high-powered rifles to hunt their prey.

Explore further: GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rhino poached to extinction in Vietnam: WWF

Oct 25, 2011

A critically endangered species of rhino has been poached to extinction in Vietnam, wildlife groups said Tuesday after the country's last Javan rhino was found dead with its horn hacked off.

Rhino poaching surges in Asia, Africa

Dec 01, 2009

Rhino poaching worldwide is on the rise, according to a new report by TRAFFIC and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Hornless rhino carcasses found in S.Africa

Nov 19, 2010

South African wildlife officials have found 18 rhino carcasses dumped by poachers in a remote area with their horns removed, a spokesman for the northern province of Limpopo said Friday.

Recommended for you

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

6 hours ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

Jan 31, 2015

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

Researchers develop new potato cultivar

Jan 30, 2015

Dakota Ruby is the name of a new potato cultivar developed by the NDSU potato breeding project and released by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Dakota Ruby has bright red skin, stores well and is intended ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.