Rhino poaching has gone up 5000% since 2007

rhino horn medicine
Video screen capture World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund has released an excellent five-part video series on the poaching crisis. The #StopWildlifeCrime series looks at how elephants, rhinos, tigers and humans are being killed to fuel consumer demand for ivory, rhino horn, furs and other animal parts.

Here's how WWF summarizes the series:

Illegal wildlife trafficking is one of the world's top criminal activities — ranked alongside drugs, arms, and human trafficking. The international crime syndicates running this trade are lining their pockets with billions of dollars, while they slaughter animals at rates never seen before, threaten lives, and even impact global security.

WWF is at the forefront of the fight to stop wildlife crime. Recently, we urged Thailand to ban its ivory trade and secured strong action from champions such as President Obama. But our work is not done. Together we can make it possible for elephants to keep their ivory, rhinos their horns, and tigers their skins.

In part four of the series, WWF explores the skyrocketing rate of rhino poaching in South Africa due to demand from Vietnam and China. As Stephen noted recently, poachers have killed more rhinos this year than ever before. WWF does a good job of explaining how good science and public shaming is needed to diminish the consumer demand fueling these killings before rhinos are driven to extinction.

WWF writes:

The fourth episode of WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime series highlights the impact on rhinos. Every day, rhinoceros across Africa and Asia are getting caught in the crosshairs of poachers to supply a lucrative black market demand for rhino horn.

Rhino horn continues to command high prices among consumers, especially in Asia where it has been falsely touted as a hangover cure and treatment for terminal illnesses. Except there is no scientific proof that a rhino's horn—made of keratin, just like human hair and fingernails—has any medicinal properties. That hasn't stopped hundreds of rhinos being slaughtered each year. In fact, there was a 5000% increase in rhino poaching in South Africa between 2007 and 2012.

Learn more and get involved at World Wildlife Fund.

Tags: Africa | Animal Rights | Animals | video

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