S. Africa: Record Number Of Rhinos Killed In 2014

  • The number of rhinos killed in South Africa last year jumped by nearly a fifth, marking a new record for poaching, driven by Asian demand for rhino horn which is more valuable by weight than gold.
  • Statistics published by the Environment Ministry showed a total of 1,215 rhinos were killed in 2014.
  • Environmentalists  described this as a “do or die situation.”
  • The number of rhinos killed by poachers — 827 of which were in the country’s famous Kruger national park in 2014 has risen rapidly in the last decade.
  • Just 13 were killed in 2007, but demand from a growing affluent middle class in Asia has seen new records broken every year, with 1,020 killed in 2013.
  • In Vietnam, ground horn sold as rhino horn wine is erroneously viewed to have health benefits and is seen as a status symbol.
  • Tom Milliken, elephant and rhino programme leader at illegal wildlife trade NGO Traffic, said: Another year of poaching like 2014 and it becomes increasingly difficult to see a positive conservation future for South African rhinos.