Rhino Slaughtered, Horns Hacked Out in Krugersdorp Game Reserve

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A female rhino has been butchered by poachers in a South African game reserve.

A female rhino in the Krugersdorp Game Reserve is the latest atrocity in the illegal rhino horn trade – killed by poachers who crudely slashed off her horns.

And there is another victim of this shameful crime: Her helpless nine-month-old calf.

According the Independent Online, employees of the reserve found the rhino Wednesday morning. Police are currently investigating “positive leads” in the case.

Reported number of rhinos killed in South Africa: 2007 – present

This is at least the eighth rhino murdered in South Africa during the past month, and the 125th of the year; however, the total could be closer to 130.

Illegal rhino killing has skyrocketed since 2008.

  • 2007: 13 rhinos killed
  • 2008: 83 rhinos killed
  • 2009: 122 rhinos killed

Poaching syndicates and industry ‘insiders’

Since 2008, South Africa has been ruthlessly targeted by rhino poaching syndicates, which are believed to be working with industry “insiders” to slaughter rhinos in response to the demand for rhino horn in China and Vietnam.

These “insiders” include trophy hunt operators, park rangers, and even veterinarians.

Rhino horn contains no medicinal properties

Although a belief in the “healing powers” of rhino horn are driving the illegal trade, rhino horn has actually been extensively analyzed and found to contain no medicinal properties.

In fact, Dr. Raj Amin, one of the world’s leading rhino horn experts, notes that consuming rhino horn has the same effect as chewing one’s own fingernails. Check out the video below:

Unfortunately, the cultural myths that attribute healing properties to rhino horn are deeply entrenched, as rhino horn has been a key ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

And as long as these myths continue, rhino poaching syndicates will have plenty of business.

Source: Independent Online

Photo: istock.com

Note: Updated July 15, 2010

Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, an educational nonprofit organization which provides news and information about wildlife crime and endangered species. I am the Editor of Rhino Horn is Not Medicine and Project Pangolin, author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine, a writer for the environmental news blog Planetsave, the host of Behind the Schemes, and Producer for the upcoming documentary The Price. When I'm not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, I enjoy gardening, reading, designing, and rocking out to live music.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. We were at Krugersdorp game reserve on SUnday the 11th of July I took the most amazing image of the Rhino mother and baby, only to hear about this very sad news this morning. Cannot believe you get people that kills these magnificent animals!!!!
    If anyone from Krugersdorp game reserve wants this image from the two together, mother and child I will gladly email it to them. Please let me know.

  2. This happens to poor animals, because a stupid bitch like ELLE MCPHERSON want her wrinkles removed -What a shame! What utter revolting human beings live here on the planet. They shouldnt.

  3. I wanted to comment and shout and scream and say how awful this is!
    But at the end of the day, when you have sad people who hate themselves, they will take any measures to pretend to fill their sadness, and God help anything that gets in their way!!
    Rhinos are beautiful, humans who use and abuse them are not. It’s easy.