Tuesday, January 3, 2012

South Africa's Rhino Poaching Hits Record Level

Black rhinoceros

2010 had seen one of the worst and bloodiest onslaughts of rhino poaching in South Africa. At that time, 333 rhinos were ruthlessly slaughtered as a result of a poaching epidemic plaguing the nation know for containing over ninety percent of rhinos in Africa. But now, that figure has increased to an all-time high of 443 rhinos killed in 2011. A study conducted by a man named Richard Emslie has shown that the number of rhinos dying either of poaching or legal hunts has reached that level, which is likely to result in a population decline. According to investigators, half of the carnage takes place in the famed Kruger National Park. Despite the deployment of soldiers and surveillance aircraft to slow down the process, the national park remains a major hub of poaching. Gangs of poachers working for international crime syndicates are said to use sophisticated technology such as high-powered weaponry and night-vision goggles to carry out their murderous deeds. Investigators further added that many were trained by Mozambique's military or the police, and are living in the border region next to Kruger National Park.

This news definitely highlights that 2011 has been one of the worst years for South Africa's rhinos. It seems that almost everyday, one form of poaching is taking place in broad daylight or even under the cover of night. In addition to that, legal hunting of rhinos is also contributing to the downfall. It looks like South Africa, which once had a reputation for being a haven for rhinos, has turned into a slaughterhouse. And those who are running the slaughterhouse are the international crime syndicates, who are deploying their poachers onto South Africa's to carry out their bloodthirsty activities. Africa has already lost one rhino last year to extinction. Now, it appears that more and more are being pushed to death's door and places like Kruger National Park are becoming hotspots for such illicit activities. The nation needs to step up its efforts in putting a stop to rhino poaching. Otherwise, the loss would permanently affect its tourist industry.

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