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RHINO CRISIS

With White Rhino populations recovering over the past decade, some conservationists felt that at least this one species might be out of the woods. But tragically, rhino poaching has ramped up again, affecting all species, including the White Rhino, today’s Endangered All-Star. Last year, in South Africa, considered a stronghold for both Black and White Rhino, 122 rhinos were poached, and it’s feared that another 180-200 may be taken this year according to a comprehensive report that appeared in March, 2010 in the Los Angeles Times, “Surge in Rhino Poaching Devastates African Populations.” Zimbabwe has been a killing field for rhino, with fewer than 800 remaining from a population once numbered in the thousands. David Uys, a South African farmer who had been caring for a baby rhino calf whose mother was killed by lightening—he called her “Weerkind” or Orphan—told the LA Times that he found her body with two others, shot. Her tiny horn had been hacked off. “I’m not a one for talking about emotions,” Uys told the newspaper. “But it was like seeing one of your family members dead, the brutality of it.” Vietnamese officials have been implicated in the purchase and smuggling of poached rhino horn, after reports in Vietnam that the horn brings miraculous healings.
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