Poachers slaughtered a record number of rhinos last year in Africa as demand for their horns skyrockets in Asia.And Asia's delusions are mainly to blame:
At least 1,338 rhinos were killed last year, the largest number since the poaching crisis intensified nearly a decade ago, according to data compiled by an international group.
The number of rhinos killed has gone up in the continent for six years in a row.
Despite the grim statistics, there was a ray of hope in South Africa, where the killings decreased slightly for the first time in years.
South Africa is home to about 80% of Africa's rhinos, making it a crucial conservation hub for the iconic animal.
The killing of the animal has increased in recent years, fueled by a growing belief in Asia that its horns purportedly cure cancer.Grim statistics:
As clients in countries such as China and Vietnam pay top dollar for rhino horns, poachers are getting brutal and sophisticated.
The demand has attracted global crime networks, complicating conservation efforts.
The western black rhino was declared extinct five years ago as a result of poaching.
The northern white rhino, a subspecies of the white rhino, is near extinction. There are only three northern white rhinos left in the world, all living at a conservancy in Kenya.
The northern subspecies is believed to be extinct in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund, while the "near threatened" southern white rhino population is growing in sanctuaries.
All five remaining rhino species worldwide are considered threatened, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.
Experts say if poaching continues at that rate, rhino deaths could surpass births, pushing the animals closer to extinction.More details at the source.