South Africa is home to nearly 20,000 rhino, most  of the world’s rhino population. In the country, more than three rhinos are poached every day.  In 2014, more than 1,171 rhinos had been killed, over 7,000 in the past decade.

South Africa is home to most of the world’s rhino population. In the country, more than three rhinos are killed every day. In 2014, more than 1,171 rhinos had been killed, over 7,000 in the past decade.
Photo Credit: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Tomorrow is World Rhino day: Will poaching wipe them out?

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If you have never seen a rhino in the wild, It’s possible you never will, and at the present rate, very probably that your children won’t.

September 22 is World Rhino Day, but thanks to human greed and poaching, the species is being slowly being made extinct.

A new report paints an extremely worrisome future for the species noting that poaching in South Africa has tripled since 2010.

The study on the state of poaching and transnational organized crime was prepared for ENACT-ENhancing Africa’s Capacity to respond effectively to Transnational organised crime. It is a European Union funded group.

Illegal animal trade markets are China, Hong Kong, Vietnam

It is an horrific and shocking photo but the animals are brutally killed because of a myth in Asia that the horn possesses some medicinal qualities
It is a shockingly horrific photo but the animals are brutally killed because of a myth in Asia that the horn possesses some medicinal qualities, and also for “status”. © Lowveld RhinoTrust

ENACT’s research shows that most poaching occurs in South Africa which has roughly 79 per cent of the world’s African rhinos, followed by Namibia and Zimbabwe, where poachers are increasingly poisoning their prey with cyanide.

The top non-African destinations for wildlife products are China, Hong Kong and Vietnam where it is falsely reputed to have medicinal benefits. Because of the high cost, possessing rhino horn in Asia is now being even more seen as a status symbol for the rich.

The ENACT report notes that wildlife crime is the fourth most lucrative organized crime globally.

© ENACT

ENACT researcher Ciara Aucoin said at a seminar on 21 September ahead of World Rhino Day. ‘Syndicates operate in more than one sector. The trade in wildlife products like rhino horn, pangolin and lion bones supports a supply of guns and drugs and contributes to challenges of corruption at multiple levels.

n this Nov. 15, 2011 file photo, customs officers stand guard near seized rhino horns in Hong Kong.
In this Nov. 15, 2011 file photo, customs officers stand guard near seized rhino horns in Hong Kong. © Kin Cheung/The Associated Press

Other sources have noted that poachers are become more sophisticated. Only five tonnes of the estimated 37 tonnes of rhino horn poached between 2010 and 2016 were seized by law enforcement agencies, according to the wildlife trade monitoring network

The slaughter of African wildlife is staggering. This 2017 photo shows 100 tonnes of poached ivory in Zimbabwe. Imagine that every two tusks represents a brutally killed elephant
The slaughter of African wildlife is staggering. This 2017 photo shows 100 tonnes of poached ivory in Zimbabwe. Imagine that every two tusks represents a brutally killed elephant © Margaret Evans. CBC

ENACT is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and INTERPOL in affiliation with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.

CBC Documentary- Elephant slaughter- Margaret Evans (17min)

Additional information –sources

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