After the good news from South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup (unless, of course, your favorite team lost early and badly), comes the opposite. The last female rhino in Kruger National Park has been killed by poachers. Rhino poaching is on the rise. The animals’ horns, sawn off, with the rest of the body left, are sold on the black market primarily to Asia. “Last year, 129 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa,” Kruger’s chief ranger said. “This year, we have already had 136 deaths.” Many poachers operate like syndicates now. They have high-tech equipment, manpower, money, and global networks. South Africa is committed to protecting its rhinos, but rangers are often out-flanked. This particular rhino’s calf was with her. The baby has been moved to a sanctuary. Two other orphaned rhinos are there already.
Photo courtesy of Arno & Louise