NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 09:04
A record number of rhinos were poached in Namibia last year. A total of 87 animals have been killed, almost double the number from 2021, when 45 rhinos were killed. This can be deduced from official figures from the government.
Most of the animals were poached in Etosha, the largest national park in the southern African country. “We are deeply concerned that our main park is a poaching hotspot,” a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment told the BBC.
Rhinoceroses are an endangered species. The black rhinoceros in particular is threatened with extinction: about 5000 of them are still around. Poachers killed 61 black and 26 white rhinos last year, most of which were found in Etosha.
Medicines and wealth
The number of rhinoceroses in Africa has dropped dramatically in recent decades, as there is a high demand for the horns in Asia. For example, they have been used as traditional medicine in China for generations, without any evidence that they actually have a healing effect. And in Vietnam, the horns are seen as a sign of wealth.
International criminal gangs now use sophisticated equipment to track and stun the animals. Then their horns are chopped off and they bleed to death. To ensure that they live, in countries such as South Africa and Botswana, the horns are cut off as a preventive measure.
Namibia has some positive news to report on elephant poaching. In 2015, 101 elephants were killed, that number fell to 4 last year.
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