The remaining 15 rhinos left in Limpopo National Park in Mozambique are now dead, killed by poachers seeking their horns. With the loss of these animals, all of the park’s 300 rhinos counted in 2002 are now dead, victims of the international trade of rhino horns.
On this occasion, and it is not the first time such a story erupts, poachers were aided by game rangers to localise and kill the animals. If 30 of these gamekeepers will soon be charged with the involvement in the killing of rhinos, the situation has become dramatic. According to Kelvin Alie, Director of IFAW’s Wildlife Crime and Consumer Awareness Programme (International Fund for Animal Welfare), “that the entire rhino population of part of such an important conservation initiative can be wiped out – and with the help of wildlife enforcement officers – speaks volumes about the deadly intent of the wildlife trade. They will stop at nothing to get to their quarry”. Since January 2013, 180 rhinos have been poached in Kruger Park in South Africa out of a national total of 249. Rhino horn is most in demand in Vietnam and Indonesia where it is incorrectly used as an aid in the treatment of certain illnesses according to IFAW.