Friday, November 11, 2011

Western Black Rhino Now Extinct?

The Western Black Rhino of West Africa was recently declared extinct due to the excessive poaching by criminal gangs for the animals' valuable horns. As described by BBC News correspondant, Pumza Fihlani:

Demand for rhino horn is at an all time high and South Africa, which has the largest reserves of the wild animal, is a prime hunting ground for poachers.

Over the past three years, gangs are said to have killed more than 800 rhinos for their horns, which can fetch £22,000 ($35,055) per kg on the black market.

Poachers use a chainsaw to cut away the rhino's horns, after darting it with a tranquilizer - drugged and helpless the animal bleeds to death.

Large syndicates are involved in this multi-billion dollar trade worldwide - exporting the horns from Africa to parts of Asia and the Middle-East.

Despite many anti-poaching measures 310 have been killed in South Africa this year, more than 330 had been killed at the end of last year - and the numbers are set to increase, experts warn.”

Their extinction was essentially inevitable because poaching occurred in areas that lacked security. The Western Black Rhino was basically “an animal walking around with a gold horn,” which therefore called for high security of these rhinos. Reported last month in October, legalizing the horn trade was a considered approach in saving the rhinos in South Africa. However many were against the notion, believing that it would only further endanger the lives of the rhinos. Unfortunately efforts of conserving this species has proved unsuccessful and even the subspecies of white rhino have been declared on the brink of extinction. Such an event further justifies the need for quicker implementation of conservation efforts.

Link 1: "Could Legalising Horn Trade Save Rhinos?" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15355494

Link 2: "Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15663982

1 comment:

Tanda Schmidt said...

Just makes me wonder if the poachers even think of what will happen if they kill all the rhinos.... where will they get their "gold" then? Did they even know the animals were going extinct? I'm baffled, but then, I'm not in the trade.