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Rhino Horn Smuggling Ringleader Trampled In Court

(RHINOS/IVORY TRADE) The leader of an international crime ring accused of trading ivory rhinoceros horns was sentenced to nearly six years in prison earlier this week. Back in December, ringleader Zhifei Li pled guilty to smuggling millions of dollars worth of illegal rhino horns to his home in China. Rhinos are one of the world's largest animals and have no natural predators, except for humans. Rhino horns can be sold for almost $18,000 a pound and are used for trinkets and Chinese medicine. What do you think? Was his punishment sufficient? Share your thoughts in the comments below and continue reading for more on Zhifei Li's sentence and his involvement in the bloody ivory trade. — Global Animal

Rhino Horns Seized In Largest European Bust Ever

(ENDANGERED SPECIES) With more than 500 rhinos poached this year alone, conservationists are growing increasingly concerned after the Czech Republic recently seized 24 illegal white rhino horns. Authorities arrested 16 alleged smugglers with horns valued at nearly $5 million in what's being referred to as the largest illegal animal smuggling bust in Europe. Read on to learn more about the case and see what measures environmentalists are taking to deter poaching. — Global Animal

Rhino Horn: Expensive But Worthless

Rhino "cures" —  Something as expensive as gold, like the horn of a rhinoceros used for Traditional Chinese Medicine, might seem valuable, but it has no medicinal properties. The belief that rhino horns are a great cure, however, is largely responsible for illegal rhino poaching, which results in a reduction in the rhinoceros population by 90% in the last 40 years.

Read on to learn why the horn will not cure your ailments, and the superstition is an atrocity.

 

Rhino Horns More Expensive Than Gold

(WILDLIFE NEWS) SOUTH AFRICA — Millions of dollars worth of poached rhinoceros horns are ending up in Vietnam, and they are not used for decoration. Many Asian cultures believe these horns have medicinal properties, from supplying super vitamins to curing cancer. Although no doctor has been able to prove these qualities, people still pay top dollar. This business has brought the price of rhino horns up as high as $133 per gram—more expensive than gold or cocaine. Murdering rhinos for a part of their body is atrocious, but it is even more appalling because the horns can be removed without killing the animal, and they will even grow back. Rangers think farming rhinos could work as a temporary solution to illegal poaching, where rhinos would be raised for their horns much like sheep are raised for their wool. In an environment where the war on poaching seems as futile as the war on drugs, this might be the rhinos' only chance. Read this account from National Geographic to learn about rhinoceros poaching from both the perspective of the rangers and the poachers. — Global Animal

Huge Illegal Rhino Horn And Ivory Trade Uncovered

(WILDLIFE) AFRICA — A transnational operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL targeting wildlife crime across southern Africa has resulted in the location and closure of an illegal ivory factory, the seizure of nearly 400 kilos of ivory and rhino horn with a market value of more than one million dollars, as well as the arrest of 41 people. — Global Animal

Powdered Rhino Horn Isn’t So Pretty: Model Apologizes For ‘Not Knowing’ Rhino Is Rhino

(RHINO) Elle Macpherson says powdered rhino horn "works for her," then says she never knew she was using it. — Global Animal

Killer Karma: Lions Eat Rhino Poachers In South African Game Reserve

(WILDLIFE/POACHING) A group of rhino poachers are suspected to have been mauled to death and eaten by a pride of lions after sneaking into a South African game reserve sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. The staff at the Sibuya Game Reserve stumbled upon human remains along with weapons and tools typically used by poachers to kill rhinos and remove their horns, including a high-powered rifle with a silencer. With more than 1,000 rhinos killed in South Africa last year, many are claiming these lions have come to the species' rescue--even if only inadvertently. Continue reading and view the video clip below for more on this story in which the hunters become the hunted. -- Global Animal

After Sudan’s Death, Is All Hope Lost For Northern White Rhinos?

(RHINOS/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) When Sudan, the world's last remaining male northern white rhino, died last month, the news sparked a global outcry. Conservationists were expecting the 45-year-old rhino's death for some time after Sudan developed an infection on his back right leg. However, because he was past reproductive age, their last ditch efforts to help Sudan produce an offspring were largely unsuccessful, with one conservationist calling it "a bitter lesson of species conservation." Continue reading below to learn how conservationists are using technology to try and save this incredible species from extinction. -- Global Animal
Fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos remain in the wild. Photo Credit: World Wild Life Foundation

Sumatran Rhino Population In A State Of Ruin

(RHINOS/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) In the 1980s, there were estimated to be 800 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild. Nowadays, that number could be as low as 30--no thanks to poaching and habitat loss. But since these four known wild rhino populations are so segregated from one another, they also have difficulty reaching each other to breed. The situation has become so dire, conservationists will need to start capturing wild Sumatran rhinos to breed them and boost the species' captive population. Read on to learn more about how we can save this species from extinction. -- Global Animal

Poached In Captivity: First Rhino Killed At Zoo

(WILDLIFE/ANIMAL CONSERVATION) As the demand for ivory in Southeast Asia continues to grow, poachers will stop at nothing to kill rhinos for their high-priced ivory horns. For instance, on Tuesday--despite the presence of surveillance cameras and five zoological staff members who live on site--poachers broke into the Thoiry Zoological Park outside Paris, France, killing a 4-year-old male white rhinoceros and sawing off one of his horns. While poachers have killed rhinos in the wild and in protected wildlife reserves for decades, this is the first rhino to be killed by poachers inside a zoo. Fortunately, the two other white rhinos at the wildlife park, Gracie and Bruno, were unharmed. Continue reading for more details on this shocking, first-time occurrence, and what this means for all living rhinos--captive or wild. -- Global Animal

Could This ‘New Plan’ Save Rhinos From Extinction?

(RHINOS/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) With only 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild, scientists agree a new approach is needed to help save the critically endangered species from extinction. No thanks to poachers and habitat destruction, approximately 70 percent of the species' genetic diversity has been wiped out over the past 200 years, leaving the few remaining black rhinos vulnerable to the same deadly diseases. However, researchers claim simply moving rhino bulls to new parks or swapping bulls between parks could help boost diversity by introducing a fresh gene pool into the park's population. Read on to learn more about how conservationists plan to battle this "unfolding catastrophe" and hopefully save the species from total extinction. -- Global Animal
This rhino camera can capture poaching events as they occur. Photo credit: Humane Society International

Could This New Device Save Rhinos From Extinction?

(WILDLIFE/POACHING/RHINOS) Poaching, or the illegal hunting and killing of wild animals, threatens a number of endangered species such as tigers, elephants, and rhinos. Due to this horrific practice, some of these species are on the brink of extinction and may be gone within our lifetime.

Rhinos In Transition: Saving Species From Slaughter

(RHINOS/WILDLIFE/ENDANGERED SPECIES) The dense forests and grasslands of South Africa were home to the world’s largest population of southern white rhinos and the three remaining sub-species of black rhino. However, prior to 1895, the white rhino populations had nearly been eradicated. Estimates at the time counted only twenty to fifty rhinos left. Through conservation efforts and early (yet crude) translocation processes, the rhinos began to recover. This species then became actively protected by the Natal Parks Board and by 1960, the population counts rose to approximately 1,650. -- Global Animal
black rhinos, endangered species list, extinct animals

Rhinos Relocating To Australia? It Could Happen

(ENDANGERED SPECIES/POACHING) The Australian Rhino Project is in talks with Taronga Zoo in South Africa to relocate dozens of rhinos to Australia. This move is aimed at creating an "insurance population" for the species, who are being hunted to extinction. Earlier this year, South Africa’s environment ministry announced more than 1,000 rhinos were killed by poachers in Kruger National Park in 2013; a rate that could wipe out the entire South African rhino population within the next 20 years. Read on to learn more about this latest attempt to help save the rhino. — Global Animal

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