What Is Rhino Poaching?

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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.

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. 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.