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Rhino poaching in South Africa

by Mike

A white Rhino

A white Rhino

We have all probably heard about the hunting safaris being sold in South Africa where rich foreigners pay poachers to take them around and hunt illegal game, especially Rhinos.

This wasn't as big of a problem before with only around 50 Rhinos per year being hunted (out of the around 20,000 Rhinos that are alive today), but the problem has grown exponentially in later years with almost 500 Rhinos being hunted in 2011.

A lot of people want to save the Rhinos from their possible extinction, especially since they have already saved the Rhinos once before. In the early 1900s, only 50 Rhinos existed, but thanks to public and private sectors working together, they managed to get it up to the almost 20,000 of today.

To combat the poaching, they have tried a lot of different methods such as cutting off the horn to make them less appealing to be hunted (as a lot of the hunters want the horn as trophies and they are worth a lot).

And they have even tried coating the Rhinos with poison which is supposedly not harmful for the animal, but any product made from its horn would taste bitter and burn, as well as showing up in airport scanners.

The horns are worth so much that there have even been a lot of robberies from museums and game reserves where they stole Rhino horns, and the crime is on the rise in other parts of the world as well.

There has been a lot of debate on how to tackle the poaching problem. Some want to destroy the current stockpiles of Rhino horns, whereas others want to open the international trade of Rhino horns.

I'm not sure what would be best to help solve this problem, but I hope the people who work with this are successful in saving the Rhinos, as it would be extremely sad if our children would not be able to see a Rhino because some people killed all of them just for "fun."

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