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White rhino in Kruger, South Africa

White rhino in Kruger, South Africa

[box style=”quote”]May 2013 be remembered as the year the rhino slaughter was stopped [/box]

We saw this white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) last march when we visited Kruger Park. He and another rhino were grazing peacefully in a clearing by the side of a road, oblivious to what is really happening.

I  wonder if this rhino is still safely grazing in the lush pastures of Kruger. Is he alive? For how long?

In 2012, 633 rhinos were poached in South Africa, illegally slaughtered for their horns which are sold to Asian markets for traditional medicine. (DEA official stats as of December 19.)  395 of those were killed inside the Kruger National Park. These are tragic numbers, almost doubling the number of rhinos killed in 2010 (333) and very far from the number of rhinos killed in 2007 (13).

It is not all gloomy in the rhino world though. The site Annamiticus has a recap of the good news that 2012 brought to the rhinos, including awareness campaigns in Asia, the tightening of trophy hunting loopholes in South Africa and the introduction of high-tech monitoring systems.

For more information on the rhino crisis and how to donate, visit Stop Rhino Poaching.

To volunteer in South Africa and get hands-on experience in rhino conservation, visit Wildlife ACT.

Together we can stop the slaughter of rhinos in Southern Africa!