Rhino horn madness: over two rhinos killed a day in South Africa

  • 163

Rhino poachers have killed 232 during 2013 so far in , reports Annamiticus, which averages out to 2.1 a day. The country has become a flashpoint for rhino as it holds more rhinos than any other country on Earth. Rhinos are being slaughter for their horns, which are believed to be a curative in Chinese , although there is no evidence this is so.

Last year, South lost 668 rhinos to poachers, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs. Most of the rhinos killed are white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum), which are currently listed by the IUCN Red List as Near Threatened. The other four rhino species are more endangered: the Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is listed as Vulnerable, while the black, Javan, and Sumatran are all listed as Critically Endangered. The Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is down to just 100 individuals, while the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is down to about 60.

Although South Africa’s rhino crisis has been escalating in recent years, the country has not been able to successfully combat the poachers. Many point to corruption, lack of adequate law enforcement, and light penalties for poachers as exacerbating the problem.

organizations have also called on and , where rhino horn consumption is fueling the trade, to do more to undercut the illegal trade. Scientific studies of rhino horn have shown it is almost entirely made of keratin, and thus consuming it is the equivalent of eating one’s fingernails.

One rhino sanctuary has turned to injecting its rhino’s horns with a non-lethal poison that will make anyone who consumes it sick.

White rhinos in Namibia. White rhinos are the world’s most populous, but suffer massive poaching rates. Photo by: Ikiwaner.

This article was written for Mongabay.com and reposted on Focusing on Wildlife.

Vanished - Megascops Choliba by Jose Garcia Allievi

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

  • 163

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Anne Grice

Rhinos horns cannot fix your bloody problems, showing compassion, intelligence and respect for the lives of others other than your own would improve your health in a monumental way! Love , compassion and a sense of humanity would take you a long way. Stop killing rhinos for the same material which is in your dam finger nails!

Rev. Austin Miles
Rev. Austin Miles

What is even worse is that the horns are chopped off the rhinos while they are still alive and still concious! The pain is excruciating for them. I once saw a video of one who had just had his horn chopped off. The poor beast was groaning and panting in agony. This MUST be stopped. Please start a petition to stop this savagery. I will be the first to sign. Rev. Austin Miles

Tim Walker

I agree, when in something going to be done about this sacrilegious crime? It makes me feel sick and ill. I am embarassed to be a human being. All I hear is mantras of GROWTH GROWTH GROWTH from governments. It is not compatible with biodiversity!

Doris Charles

That is a lot of rhino killed this year, yet the S.African government refuses to do anything about it.


I find this is too much and its murder to our gracious rhinos, when is it going to end this poaching, otherwise we will have no rhinos left in the world thats wild.