Here’s how a pair of South Africans could undermine the international efforts to protect the vulnerable animals.
Rhino poaching has reached disastrous proportions during the past decade. In 2007 South Africa reported losing just 13 rhinos. In 2008 it was 83. Last year it was 1,175. In Kruger, home to some 9,000 rhinos, poachers kill on average two to three every day. The killing isn’t limited to Africa. In April poachers shot a greater one-horned rhino with AK-47s in India’s Kaziranga National Park hours after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had visited the park to promote conservation. Rhinos don’t roar when they’re injured. They keen. A shot mother will cry in pain, sometimes inadvertently causing her frightened baby to return to her. Poachers will sever a baby’s spine with a machete to save a bullet, then take its horn too.