We knew that poaching was cruel. But this video beggars belief


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The Independent Online

Warning: Graphic

This video was taken in Kruger National Park, South Africa,  on February 28th, six days before rangers were able to relocate the savagely abused rhino and put it down.

The sight of the animal - whose horn has been hacked off by poachers, most likely to be later sold in China - brings home the terrifying and terrible cost of the trade in illegal ivory, that sees 1,000 rhinos slaughtered each year.

Where its horn once stood lies only a gaping wound. The rangers who later found the beast reported a bullet had also lodged in its brain.

Our Elephant Appeal sought to highlight the worrying resurgence of poaching across the African subcontinent. The importance of charities like Space for Giants, our partner in the appeal, could hardly be more bleakly apparent than when watching footage like this 20-second clip, captured by a safari-goer.

The job of protecting elephants and rhinos is far from over, but after an international conference last month, attended by the Royal Family, and the generosity of Independent readers towards our campaign, which raised £500,000, there is finally enough attention on wildlife crime to hope for real change.

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Independent Elephant Appeal
Infographic: How we treat animals around the world