The northern white rhinoceros is considered critically endangered and is nearly extinct in the wild. As of 2014, there are only four left. Poaching drastically reduced its numbers during the 20th century. The southern white rhinoceros is not critically endangered. In 2012, there were approximately 20,000 in Africa.
Poachers typically travel in gangs to hunt rhinoceroses and are heavily armed and organized. Rhino horns are in high demand in Asian medical markets, though there is no proof they actually cure any illnesses. Most poachers do not stop at murdering animals, as they have been known to kill park rangers who try to stop them. Conservation groups urge people not to purchase any rhino horn products, in order to slow the demand.