The number of rhinos illegally killed in South Africa between January 1st and October 16th, 2012, has reached 455 — exceeding 2011’s total of 448 victims.
207 suspects have been arrested in South Africa for rhino crimes during the same time period. Of the 455 rhinos lost to the illegal trade, 272 were killed in the famous Kruger National Park. The provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, and the North West continue to be targeted, collectively accounting for 150 rhinos killed.
Rhino horn is generally destined for illegal markets in China and Vietnam. Rhino horn has officially been removed from the Chinese medicine pharmacopeia; however, its use in China continues. Non-traditional uses for rhino horn — such as a hangover cure or general health tonic — have emerged among the newly rich in Vietnam.
There is no evidence to support claims of rhino horn’s medicinal effectiveness.
South Africa did not submit a legal rhino horn trade proposal for the upcoming CITES CoP16 — encouraging news, considering the world’s leading wildlife trade experts agree that a legal rhino trade in South Africa will not solve the country’s rhino crisis.