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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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This Year’s Rhino Death Toll Edges Toward 1000

Posted by Richard Conniff on December 17, 2013

Rhino stat 2012_cropped

As of today, South Africa has lost 919 rhinos this year, slaughtered by poachers to supply the demand for ivory knickknacks in China, Vietnam, and Thailand.  That’s not counting the rhino killings elsewhere in Africa, and in Asia.

This graphic from WESSA, The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, illustrates just how recently the killing has gone out of control.  The WESSA web site also gives a hint of how little South Africa has done to stop it.

I’d be interested to see data on prosecutions and penalties.  It puzzles me, for instance, that Dawie Groenwald and his gang, including veterinarians, big game hunters, and other wildlife professionals, were arrested in September 2010 in a rhino poaching conspiracy said to have made millions, but still have not gone to trial three years later.

 

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