287 rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa this year, World Wildlife Fund says
A veterinarian tends to a rhino left badly wounded by poachers last month on a reserve north of Cape Town, South Africa.
September 21st, 2011
12:39 PM ET

287 rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa this year, World Wildlife Fund says

Poachers have killed 287 rhinos in South Africa this year, including 16 critically endangered black rhinos, the World Wildlife Fund reported Wednesday.

South Africa is home to the majority of the world's rhinos, and the 271 African white rhinos killed there this year represent 1.3% of the entire population of the animals, the conservation group said.

The rhinos are killed for their horns, which are used in traditional medicine in Asia, including a misplaced belief they can cure cancer, according to the group.

"Demand for rhino horn and elephant ivory is threatening to destroy a large part of Africa’s natural heritage. We want to see illegal markets for these products in Asia shut down for good,” Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF-South Africa, said in a statement on the eve of World Rhino Day on Thursday.

Officials from Vietnam and China, where rhino horns are in demand, will travel to South Africa this month to discuss how to cooperate on poaching investigations, the fund said.

South Africa has arrested more than 165 people in connection with rhino poaching this year, sending some of those convicted to prison for up to 12 years, according to the group. Eleven more poaching suspects are scheduled to go on trial in a South African court next week. They include veterinarians, safari operators and a pilot.

"South African authorities are taking rhino poaching very seriously and are beginning to dismantle the sophisticated criminal gangs that are behind the killings,” Joseph Okori, the fund’s African rhino program manager, said in a statement.

The wildlife group estimates there are 28,038 rhinos left in the world - 20,000 African white rhinos, 4,838 African black rhinos and 3,200 Asian rhinos.

Post by:
Filed under: Animals • Crime • Rhinos • South Africa
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    Time to Poach the Poachers,

    September 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • KJ

      Amen!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean

      Such a magnificent animal. South Africa can do better. Police should be allowed to shoot to kill poacher on the spot. The only way to show these people is by example.

      September 22, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Game hunting in the name of tourism and exporting animals to foreign countries has led to a decline in the number of animals in our parks and game reserves. Our governments are hell greedy! Kenya is no longer the way it used to be 20yrs down the line. A huge male lion is tressured by the game hunters not weighing the calamity they leave to a pride the lion was heading. Why are there lions, cheeters, leos, rhinos etc in american zoos or eu's and no tigers, panthers, bears, kangaroos in our states? Stop all animal exportation immediately!

      September 22, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. kim

    People are really showing the intelligence levels despite the many advances in the world they still want to kill a rhino for its horn god how stupid is that!

    September 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    Lol Jonny be nice that should only apply to the tea party.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. @Richard

    You posted "The chinese would grind-up babies if they could get away with it". So how do you feel about the American Carlyle group selling oil to china for 27 bucks per barrel while we buy OPEC oil at over 3 times that price? How do you feel about US TROOPS guarding Afghan pipelines this oil flows through? I bet that grinds your baby dude!

    September 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • PAST TIME FOR ACTION!

      FIGHT THE GLOBAL, COMMON-FOE: THE DIRTY-ENERGY CEOs!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RUFFNUTT (kcmo , egg poacher)

    time to collect the dna of these animal so we can clone em later ,, when they are exticnt

    September 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ryan S

    In my opinion this is exactly the kind of nonsense "alternative medicine" leads to. Rhino horn does about as much as St Johns Wort, which is to say, nothing. People not demanding evidence of the efficacy of their remedies causes unnecessary suffering for the customers (since it doesn't do what they are told it will do) and in this case costs innocent animal life.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jay

    I just dont understand why Vince McMahon and the WWF even care. I mean Rhyno left the organization years ago to go wrestle for TNA.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vic Tanny

      Haha, I was thinking pretty close to the same thing.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • BorgX

      This was the first smart thing I have read here.
      As for the WWF... I stopped sending donations to them when they decided that I was stupid enough to confuse Hulk Hogan with a damn Pandabear.

      September 22, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Semiahmoo

    All for the Han Chinese. All for the Han Chinese.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. coolnsmart

    Poaching is a crime against the world. Killing animals for alleged medicinal value is a crime of the highest proprtion. Poachers and their trader link should be brokem. nations which permit poached products to be used by their factories etc should be censured in UN.

    September 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tax more

    Just legalize it and tax the heck out of it.

    September 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PAST TIME FOR ACTION!

    HEY- YOU sorry, illiterate, backward-idiot BUYERS IN CHINA AND ELSEWHERE- These horns do NOT do ONE thing for YOUR 'health-bene', YOU MORONS!!
    1.) It's PAST TIME that CHINA-esp. be held accountable to arrest these buyers; these accessories to mass-murder of not only an animal-species, but human park-reserve rangers as well and extradite these criminals to the affected nations for prosecution!
    2.) It's PAST TIME that these horns (and ivory-tusks, etc.) be immediately imbedded with tracker micro-chips, using readily-available GPS-tech to bust their black-market backs!
    3.) It's PAST TIME to acclimate the surviving, park-reserve animals to LARGE, well-trained packs of canine-ranger troops that are ready, willing, and able to attack poachers and kill!

    ~ IT'S PAST TIME FOR TOUGH ACTIONS ON ALL FRONTS OF THIS WAR!! ~

    September 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      ITS PAST TIME YOUR STOP USING THE DAMN CAPS SO DAMN MUCH.
      WE GET IT YOU LIKE RHINO'S. REALLY WE GET IT. BUT THE CAPS ARE NOT HELPING.
      EVERY TIME YOU USE CAPS LIKE THIS GOD KILLS A KITTEN. STOP WITH THE CAPS!!!!

      September 22, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Garamasala

    punishment for the poacher shouldbe one day inside a cage with one of the rhinos

    September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hussain

    i just would like to say to the poachers that they shall stop killing them. They are poor creatures and they never hurt them or steal their wealth like any dectator president does in the world

    September 22, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark

    Here's a new Headline starter "287 POACHERS KILLED BY RHINOS,AND ARE AQUITTED" yah

    September 22, 2011 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. bezerkur

    lets just sick paul watson on the poachers. he stopped whaling in the antartic surely his organazation could do some good in south africa. well paul? how bout it. this merits your attention.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3