Saturday, December 31, 2011

Record numbers of rhinos killed by poachers as demand for horn in Asian countries grows

Poachers in South Africa have this year killed more rhinos than ever before as demand for their horns grows in Asia, say conservationists.

This year at least 443 rhinos have been killed in the African country - up from 333 in 2010 - as the street value of their horns has soared to around $65,000 per kilo, making it more expensive than gold, platinum and, in many cases, cocaine. Increasing affluence in Asia is thought to be pushing the price up.

The price hike follows a surge in the misguided belief among people in many Asian countries that rhino horns can cure or prevent cancer.

South Africa has the world's biggest population of rhinos and is home to more than 20,000 of the endangered creatures. Read More