is the VOA Special English Development Report.
A new report says the illegal killing
of rhinos for their horns is increasing in Africa and Asia. Rhinoceros poachers
are killing an estimated two to three of the rare animals each week.
Experts say demand in Asia -- especially
Vietnam and China -- currently drives most trade in rhino horns from southern
Africa. The horns are often used to make traditional medicines, or handles for
The report is from the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and an organization known as
African rhino poaching is in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Experts found that two
hundred ten rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in the last three
estimate for Zimbabwe is two hundred thirty-five. The situation threatens gains
made in its rhino populations in the nineteen nineties. In the last two years,
only six people were found guilty of poaching charges out of forty-one
two thousand one, sixty-eight percent of African rhino horns entering illegal
trade were recovered. By this year, nine out of ten were heading to Asian
markets without interference.
The report says poaching and illegal
horn trade has increased in South Africa even with new measures against it.
Adding to the problem, poachers today
are more skilled at killing rhinos, and not only with guns. They also use quieter
methods, like veterinary drugs, poison and crossbows.
international agreement on protecting endangered animals and plants provides for
sport hunting of white rhinos in Africa. But the horns often enter illegal
all the news is bad, however. The report notes that rhino populations are
increasing in some areas. These include both white rhinos and black rhinos in
the wild in Africa.
had an estimated seventeen thousand white rhinos and four thousand black rhinos
as of two years ago. Current estimates for Asia are around three thousand
rhinos. But even with poaching, growth is reported in some areas of India and
are urging governments to do more to fight rhino poaching.
The report was presented
to the organization known as CITES. CITES is the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The next
conference of countries that are parties to the agreement is in March in Doha,
that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.