World Rhino Day to Stop the Poaching
 |  Cape Town, South Africa  |  Good Morning everyone. If there is a word, I have learned and heard over and over, during my trip to Africa, unfortunately it is POACHING. That bloody word, signature of sophisticated, ruthless and heavily-armed international criminal gangs who run the illegal horn trade that is slaughtering Rhinos to extinction. 22 September 2011 is World Rhino Day. Rhino Africa Safaris along with friends from Getaway Magazine, Wildlife ACT, Africa@Heart, Green Renaissance and Aquila Private Game Reserve are calling on all concerned citizens to come down to Parliament in Cape Town and gather in front of the Louis Botha monument between 11.30am and 1.30pm on Thursday 22 September. Support the campaign by wearing red.  And I will be there to support their cause. Stop the Rhino Poaching damn it.

I know images are harsh, but it is the only way to learn and act. In the 1960s African black rhino numbered 100,000 but it waned to 2,400 in the early 1990s. Today there are about 4,800 black rhino in Africa, which is still low but heading in the right direction. The success has been the rebound of the white rhino. There were as few as 50 alive a century ago. Now, there are around 20,000. But the last few years has seen a huge increase in poaching. From 2000-2007, only about a dozen rhinos were poached each year in Southern Africa (where nearly 90% of all African rhino live). The price per kilogramme of freshly cut rhino horn is currently between US $25,000 and $40,000. With an increased rhino horn supply, the price would most likely drop, dampening the poaching incentive. Last year 333 were slaughtered. So far in 2011, a total of 279 Rhinos have been poached, with 169 of them in the Kruger National Park. This figure is not yet high enough to suppress the natural population growth, but is edging ever closer to the tipping point where the numbers killed will exceed the number born.  Photo © Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon. CM

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