Poaching throughout Africa has taken a record number of rhinos in the past year. A report out of South Africa states that so far 1020 rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa alone this year. This already beats last year’s figure of 1004 rhinos that were poached.
Poaching of rhino horn has seen a dramatic increase in the past few years. During 2007 just 13 rhinos were poached. This illustrates the rising demand worldwide for rhino horn which some claim is an aphrodisiac or can cure cancer. In fact rhino horn is similar to our hair and nails in that they are made from keratin. These have no medicinal benefits nor does rhino horn.
It is believed that rhinos will now extinct in the lifetime of those people alive right now. The rhinos of Africa and Asia are headed for a point where they cannot reproduce as quickly as they are being killed. While conservation in zoos is helping it is not enough. People need to be educated that rhino horn has no medicinal properties.
Taronga Zoo is helping with the release of their Wildlife Witness App. This helps people report incidences of poaching which they may see on their holidays overseas. The app can be downloaded here- http://wildlifewitness.net/
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo