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Still Waters

[Merged] Rhino anti-poaching deal signed

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South Africa has signed a deal with Vietnam to help curb the rising number of illegally slaughtered rhinos, officials announced on Monday.

The price of rhino horn - used in traditional medicine in Asian countries - has soared.

Rhino poaching is already banned under international conventions but figures show the number of rhinos killed in 2012 was nearly double the 2010 figure.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...africa-20670012

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Rhinoceros poaching soared to a record high level in South Africa last year. The country's government said 668 rhinos were killed within its borders in 2012, up from 448 in 2011, according to the World Wildlife Fund, an international conservation group.

A whopping 425 of those deaths last year occurred in Kruger National Park, a top safari destination and home to South Africa's largest population of both black and white rhinos. That figure marks a sharp increase from the 252 rhinos killed in the park in 2011.

The poaching boom is largely due to heightened demand for rhino horns in Asia, where the grim prizes are believed to have medicinal properties and are seen as highly desirable status symbols, especially in Vietnam. TRAFFIC, a nongovernmental global network that monitors wildlife trade, recently issued a report describing how some affluent Vietnamese individuals often use the horn as a hangover cure and general health tonic, grinding it up and mixing it with water or alcohol.

"Viet Nam must curtail the nation’s rhino horn habit, which is fuelling a poaching crisis in South Africa," Sabri Zain, TRAFFIC's director of advocacy, said in a statement. "Rhinos are being illegally killed, their horns hacked off and the animals left to bleed to death, all for the frivolous use of their horns as a hangover cure."

http://www.livescience.com/26182-rhino-poaching-at-record-high-in-south-africa.html

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Poaching is a truly terrible thing. Both governments, of where the poachers are operating and the country that has the highest demand for them (I know it is not the government importing these rhino horns et al yet their citizens) should work together to put an end to this, otherwise we are destined to lose some truly beautiful species to money, greed and corruption.

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