South Africa announces its worst year of rhino killingsFeatured Monday, January 20th, 2014
South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs announced that over 1,000 rhinos in the country had been killed for their horns in the year 2013. This is the highest number recorded yet, and there is said to have been an over 50% increase in rhino poaching since 2012.
According to a statement made by the environmental affairs ministry, 1,004 rhinos had been illegally killed in South Africa last year, a majority of them being in Kruger National Park. 668 killings were recorded in 2012.
The demand for rhino horns seem to rise every year, especially in China and Vietnam, and the number of rhinos walking the earth continues to diminish accordingly. The rhino’s horn is sought-after in Asia for the healing properties that it is said to have, and many believe that the horn has the power to cure diseases like cancer and diabetes.
According to the conservation group ‘Save the Rhino’, there are only about 25,000 African rhinos left in the world today. Of these the black rhino are the most endangered, with a population of only about 5,000 left.
An American hunter paying $350,000 to kill a black rhino made news in the past week when the deal went viral and resulted in an internet uproar. According to reports on CNN, the hunter Corey Knowlton had paid as sum of $350,000 at the Dallas Safari Club’s auction for a permit to hunt a black rhino in the southern African nation of Namibia.
“I’m a hunter. I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be there and be a part of it. I believe in the cycle of life. I don’t believe that meat, you know, comes from the grocery store. I believe that animal died and I respect it,” said Knowlton on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live.”
Although he received many a death-threat from outraged animal lovers, he debated back stating that the money would be going to animal conservation.