The World's Rhinos Are in Crisis
At the start of the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed the wild.
By 1970, the worldwide population fell to 70,000.
Today, only 29,000 rhinos survive in the wild.
Four of the five species remaining are threatened.
Three are critically endangered.
In South Africa alone, poachers kill three or more rhinos per day to feed the demand for horn on the black market.
Rhino deaths in Africa may soon outpace births.
In 2014, more than 1,200 rhinos were killed in South Africa. That’s a 9,000% increase since 2007.
* Statistic released by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs
Last year, poachers killed nearly 1,200 rhinos in South Africa alone, 80 in Zimbabwe and 50 in Namibia.
Growing Demand for Rhino Horn
Burgeoning middle classes in China and Vietnam are increasingly able to afford rhino horn, which is illegally traded on the black market. This demand drives record poaching rates.
There is no scientific evidence that rhino horn has any medicinal value.
Rhinos are poached for their horn, which is made of keratin — the same as your hair and fingernails
Consumers in Vietnam use rhino horn as purported cures for everything from hangovers to cancer and as a status symbol
Consumers in China use rhino horn in Traditional Asian Medicine to reduce fever and treat other ailments
Human development has chopped up landscapes where rhinos live, leading to small, isolated populations that cannot get together to breed.
Dividing a habitat prevents rhinos from breeding.
Lack of Political Will
Range countries and consumer countries alike need to crack down on corruption, enforce their laws and commit to international treaties if rhinos are to survive.