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

Graham Land

Additional resources:

Reuters – Elle Macpherson in rhino horn row