Posted August 15, 2023 in Conservation
In 2008, the poaching of Rhinos in Africa began to rise rapidly, with many species being killed for just their horns. A Rhino horn is made up of keratin – the same protein which forms the basis of our hair and nails. Their horns are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but they are also seen as a status symbol for wealth.
In 2015, the number of Rhinos killed for their horns reached its peak and has since, slowly declined, however in the last decade, 9,396 African rhinos have been lost to poaching with approximately 548 poached in 2022. At least one Rhino is killed every day. Rhino populations are still struggling to recover with the Black, Javan, and Sumatran species currently listed as ‘critically Endangered’ and on the brink of extinction.
Since the Pandemic of Covid-19, we are now starting to see an increase again to the number of Rhinos being killed. So far this year in South Africa, 230 Rhinos have been killed: 155 White Rhino and 4 Black Rhino in KwaZulu-Natal alone. Poachers are now targeting ‘stumpies’, Rhinos that have been dehorned for their protection. Many reserves de-horn their Rhino to help protect them against these unnecessary killings, however the horn will continue to grow back within those two years. Through desperation, poachers are now attacking and killing ‘stumpies’, digging out their partially grown horn to sell on the black market. These attempts are extremely upsetting and now has led to reserves spending resources dehorning their Rhinos every year.
Everyday Field Rangers on Reserves risk their lives on patrol to deter poachers; some walk up to 15-20kms a day or night, come rain or shine. Protecting Rhinos is an uphill and never-ending battle but a world without these mighty creatures would be a devasting one.
With your support, we can help towards protecting Rhinos in the wild. Through our charity, Action for the Wild, we are helping to support conservation charities across the globe, including donating funds to vital organisations such as Save the Rhino. Find out more about how donations made to Action for the Wild help support Save the Rhino and what you can do to help.
Statistics taken from www.savetherhino.org/rhino-info/poaching-stats/