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What is rhino poaching?

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Quick Answer

Rhino poaching refers to the illegal hunting of rhinoceros in Africa, primarily because of an increase in the demand for a traditional Chinese medicine that is made from the powder of rhinoceros horn. According to Save the Rhino, an animal that boasted a population of more than 500,000 throughout the world early in the 1900s is in danger of extinction, despite aggressive efforts to fight the practice of poaching. In 2011, the Western black rhino was declared to be extinct, primarily as a result of poaching.

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What is rhino poaching?
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Much of the poaching is taking place in South Africa, home to more than 80 percent of all of Africa's rhinos and almost three-fourths of all of the wild rhinoceros on Earth. However, poaching inside the borders of this country has continued to spike. In 2007, only 13 rhinos died as a result of poaching in South Africa, but that number skyrocketed to 1,004 in 2013 and, as of March 2014, had already climbed to 172 for 2014. Numbers are not as readily available in other African countries, but there is no reason to suggest that poachers are leaving rhinos alone in those nations. Because of the high price that rhino horn currently commands in Asia, there are powerful criminal organizations spending money to purchase sophisticated equipment to find and kill rhinos.

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