Number of rhinos killed in South Africa soars
The number of rhinos killed in South Africa for their horns soared to more than 1,000 last year, a 50 per cent jump on 2012 and up from just 13 in 2007.
South Africa’s environment agency said 1,004 animals were killed in 2013, mostly in Kruger national park – showing the rapid growth in poaching that threatens to wipe out the country’s entire population of white and black rhinos.
Rhino poaching is being fuelled by growing demand from Vietnam and China, where the horns are believed to have medicinal properties.
Organised criminals are increasingly choosing poaching because it offers high rewards with little risk as jail sentences are rare.
Before the killing spree, white rhino numbers had staged a major comeback, rising from just 100 at the end of the 19th century to about 20,000 today.
“The experts tell me we are close to the tipping point,” said Tom Milliken from Traffic International, the wildlife trade monitoring group.
Next month, the heads of state and foreign ministers from around 50 countries are set to attend the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
The Independent has been working in partnership with the charity Space for Giants to raise money to combat elephant poaching in Africa. It will continue to do so, but it will also focus increasingly on next month’s wildlife summit.
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis: Greek future in the euro slips into deeper uncertainty as Alexis Tsipras arrives at emergency talks without written plan
Man soars over Calgary after tying 110 balloons filled with helium to his lawn chair for PR stunt, gets arrested for mischief
Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you time it takes to walk between stations
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...