A record number of African rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year, according to a recently published CNN report.
In 2012, it is estimated that 455 rhinos have been slaughtered in South Africa. A London based conservation group called Save the Rhino said 448 rhinos were killed during 2011.
A growing, unsubstantiated belief that their horns can cure cancer has resulted in a high demand for the horn in Southeast Asia.
“It is critical for the South African government to engage with consumer countries and to fight against international syndicates involved in illegal rhino horn trade,” World Wildlife Fund rhino coordinator Jo Shaw, Ph.D., told CNN.
Vietnam is one country which has been complacent in action against the illegal rhino horn trade, according to Shaw.
It has been estimated by Save the Rhino that about 21,000 of Africa’s 25,000 rhinos live in South Africa.
Nearly 200 people with ties to the horn trade have been arrested, according to South African officials.