Africa: Another 4 dead rhinos

Poachers killed 4 rhinos at a game reserve in Kenya on July 9th, one of the worst attacks in recent times, Bloomberg reports, bringing the number of rhinos killed in Kenya this year to 22, and reducing the number of the animals left there to 1,037. Poaching of rhinos and elephants is fuelled by demand for horn and ivory to be used in ornaments and medicine in Asia, with China and Vietnam in particular driving demand. The rhinos were killed at the Ol Jogi Ranch, 225km from Nairobi, and ranch spokeperson Paul Muya said that, “There is a serious appetite for animal horns not just for the rhino, but the elephant as well from the Asian market. This should explain the escalation of poaching as witnessed in the recent past”. Elephant numbers in Africa may appear healthy, with around 38,000 in Kenya and 600,000 in Africa as a whole, but numbers are decreasing as demand for ivory – used in medicine and a sign of wealth in China – pushes poachers to kill in ever greater numbers.

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