The species has been officially declared extinct due to no reported sightings over the last seven years.
In another blow to conservationists, the western black rhino appears to have been completely wiped out thanks to non-stop efforts by poachers to kill the animals for their horns. The rhinos had lived in southern parts of Africa for thousands of years. It is thought that some of the rangers at national parks charged with protecting the animals were receiving handouts in exchange for allowing poachers access to the rhinos.
Rhino horns are particularly valued in countries such as Vietnam where they are used in tonics to treat everything from hangovers to cancer. In some Asian countries, the horns are seen as a status symbol and play an important role in superstitious beliefs.
"The western black rhino, a subspecies of the black rhino, was declared extinct last month by The International Union for Conservation of Nature, as no sightings of the creature have been reported since 2006."
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Source: Eastern Echo
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