Rhino Poaching

All five rhino species are threatened with extinction: Africa’s black rhinos are critically endangered, with a population under 5,000. The 3,000 one-horned rhinos of India and Nepal are endangered, while Southeast Asia’s Sumatran and Javan rhinos number only in the hundreds and tens, respectively and are also critically endangered. At around 20,000, the southern white rhino is most numerous, with the vast majority living in South Africa.


Although habitat loss is an important consideration, the main threat to rhinos is poaching. Rhino horn is a highly valued component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, practiced in China, Vietnam and other parts of East Asia. Hundreds of rhinos are killed illegally for their horns every year.

From the same website:

In the first week of December 2011, Karen Trendler of Working Wild / Rhino Calf Response Strategy EWT was called to the scene of a rhino poaching incident in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

A white rhino cow and her calf had been shot only 800 metres from a lodge in broad daylight. The cow had been shot four times and had died at the scene, her horn hacked from her face. Her 11-month-old calf had been shot in the chest but had managed to run from the poachers.

The calf was tracked, and was found the following morning. A vet treated her as best he could but she died eight hours later. A post-mortem showed that the bullet had broken three ribs and then ricocheted off the fourth into her lung, and then on into her liver, small intestine, stomach and finally into her large intestine. She must have been in terrible pain.

There is an article about this topic in this months "National Geographic", and the image what has been done to the poor rhino is so terrible that I cannot post it here.
Original Post
Thank you for this very disturbing post.
Like Sue I don't know how humans be so cruel to a living being? It is really horrible to see the pictures.
I hope someone is able to help these poor creatures.

Vicky 2Hearts

This information comes from one of our earlier posts, and

from the "Magazine of the Royal Ontario Museum, Summer 2009

Of the five species of rhinoceros in the world all are endangered, primarily because they have been hunted for horn, and also because of habitat destruction.

Rhino horn has been used in a wide variety of products for treating fevers and convulsions in traditional Chinese medicine, for ornaments like cups and figurines, and in the Gulf States, particularly Yemen, for handles of the most expensive daggers, which are still carved from rhino horn.

The quantity of rhino horns entering the illegal trade has increased significantly since 2000, indicating ongoing market demand and organized trade routes to the Middle and Far East.

The continued threats of poaching to satisfy the high illegal demand for horn. Successful protection depends on significant state effort and expenditure, and if these were to decline, especially in South
africa, rampant poaching could once again seriously threaten the rhinos' survival.

I will post a nicer picture here painted by Robert Bateman

Thank you for your replies girls.

This is from the March issue of "National Geographic."

Rivaling the price of gold on the black market, rhino horn is at the center of a bloody poaching battle.

Here is where I don't want to post the picture, and cannot even look at it without feeling dismayed at human behaviour, but the story is this:

game scouts found this black rhino bull wandering Zimbabwe's Save Valley Conservancy after poachers shot it several times (shooting out one eye)and hacked off both its horns. Veterinarians had to euthanize the animal because its shattered shoulder couldn't support its weight. In the past six years poachers have killed more than a thousand African rhinos for their horns, which are smuggled to Asia for use in traditional medicines.
This is very disturbing.

I also went and looked at National Geographic, and I can see why you did not want to share a picture.
I cannot believe that humans can do this to an animal.
He must have been in absolute agony having to spend hours or even days in this mutilated condition.

In April, conservationist Alan Weyer witnessed a scene he said had continued to haunt him. Summoned to an area of the Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, the park’s manager saw a rhino shivering silently in a clearing in the bush.

Poachers killed this rhino at South Africa’s Kariega Game Reserve last year
“This animal had been darted (and sedated), the horn had been removed, but the animal hadn’t died. The animal stood up and it was walking around with, literally, its face hacked off. It was absolutely dreadful,” Weyer said. “We could not save it. A vet had to put the rhino down.”

Just a month before, poachers had targeted another of his rhino. “It’s clear that the animal bled to death because of the hemorrhaging where they cut the horn off,” Weyer explained.

From the Metro paper, June 20, 2012

In a rare interview, Prince William has condemned people involved in the illegal trade of rhino horns as "extremely ignorant, selfish and utterly wrong."

4,800 black rhinos are left in the wild in Africa, with experts saying the animal is being slaughtered at the rate of 2 a day.

Black rhinos, native to eastern and central
Africa, have been poached to the brink of extinction due to the demand for their horn, both for use in Chinese traditional medicine and for traditional Yemeni dagger handles. Experts estimate that around 95 per cent of the black rhino population has been lost. A single horn can fetch $250,000 US.
From the Toronto Zoo newsletter.

There are 5 rhino species left in the world. The southern white rhino numbers approximately 20,000.The northern white subspecies is considered extinct with only 7 known animals left on earth. The black rhino has a population of less than 4,900 animals. The Java rhino, found in Vietnam, at less than 50 surviving individuals is the most endangered.The Great Indian is found in India and numbers about 2,900 and, the Sumatran fewer than 200.

Rhinos have been with us for millenia and during the Ice Age, woolly rhinos lived side by side with the woolly mammals, an ancient elephant. Now, mostly due to poaching for their horn(which has no magical power and cannot cure disease), their numbers are declining at a horrific rate.
Rhinos are still being slaughtered for their horns.
“The rhino poaching trend is extremely worrying. If it is not stopped, the world could lose African rhinos. This is a tragedy we do not want to contemplate.”.

Rhinos were once abundant throughout Africa and Asia with an approximated worldwide population of 500 000 in the early twentieth century. However, despite intensive conservation efforts, poaching of this iconic species is dramatically increasing, pushing the remaining rhinos closer and closer towards extinction. The Western black rhino was declared extinct by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 2011, with the primary cause identified as poaching. In fact, all five remaining rhinos species are listed on the IUCN Redlist of threatened species, with three out of five species classified as critically endangered.

South Africa which has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world and is an incredibly important country for rhino conservation. However rhino poaching has reached a crisis point, and if the killing continues at this rate, we could see rhino deaths overtaking births in 2016-2018, meaning rhinos could go extinct in the very near future. Figures compiled by the South African Department of Environmental affairs show the dramatic escalation in poaching over recent years

Here, on the tarmac of a small airstrip near Skukuza, the latest in drone technology is being tested out as rangers seek to gain the upper hand against poachers who are slipping into the park and felling an average of three rhinos a day in pursuit of their horns and the riches they will buy.

The Metro newspaper had another article about a rhino being treated after its horns were hacked off.

This happened in South Africa, and the animal was left with a horrific wound covering most of its face. Staff on a wildlife reserve found the grieving, injured rhino alive.The animal has been treated and hopefully recover and remain alive.

Demands for rhino horns is high in parts of Asia where it is seen as a status symbol and a cure for illnesses despite a lack of evidence that it can heal.

The number of rhinos is declining in the world.

The remaining numbers are the following:


20.000 white rhino

5.055   black rhino

3.345   greater one-horned rhino

   100   Sumatran rhino

     58   Javan rhino

The International Rhino Foundation tries to help. People also need to discuss the problem so we can create an awareness of the danger to rhinos.

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