World Rhino Day
On September 22nd, 2020, we will be celebrating World Rhino Day. World Rhino Day is celebrated annually on 22 September and celebrates all five species of rhino: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran, and Javan rhinos. In the past 40 years, the world has lost 95% of its rhino population.
Nearly 1,000 rhinos were poached each year over the last decade, according to South Africa’s government statistics. Poaching levels improved slightly during 2018 and 2019; South Africa reportedly lost 594 rhinos to poachers this past year, demonstrating a decrease of about 29% in poaching rates. Although enforcement has improved in some areas and prices of rhino horn have fallen in Asia, the drop in poaching may be due, in part, to fewer rhinos, making it harder for poachers to find them. To stop the organized crime facilitating rhino poaching, kingpins in South Africa, Mozambique, and elsewhere must be prosecuted–not just the foot soldiers.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, it has been widely reported that the resulting shutdown of economies and loss of tourism has led to an increase in wildlife poaching. This World Rhino Day, WildAid is delighted to share a good news story with you: rhino poaching in South Africa has defied this trend and has dropped during the pandemic. According to South African authorities, poaching there was down by nearly 50% during the first six months of 2020, with only 166 rhinos killed, compared with 316 in the same period of 2019.
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