photo by Mark Turner (Flickr Creative Commons)

Africa’s rhinos are facing a constant threat due to poachers and trophy hunting. The increasing demand for rhino horn used in traditional Chinese medicine – especially in new markets such as Vietnam – is fueling an illegal trade involving corruption and organized crime.

In a recent poaching attack in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, poachers entered a wildlife reserve via helicopter and cut the horns off of a drugged white rhino with a chainsaw. The rhino miraculously survived the brutal attack.

From a report in South Africa’s Independent:

It appears that the poachers may also have captured the cow’s month-old calf and taken it away in a helicopter.
A wildlife investigator said the wounds to the cow were comparable to slashing the nose off a person.

For more on this story see the below video report from Al Jazeera English. Be advised that the report contains some brutal and disturbing footage.

Africa’s Endangered Rhinos

Additional resources:

Reuters – Elle Macpherson in rhino horn row