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Kruger National Park in South Africa has hired 150 additional rangers to protect against an alarming increase in rhino poaching in the region.
Kruger is a hot bed for poaching, with more than half of the 448 rhinos killed last year coming from the region. The country of South Africa itself represents 80% of the world rhino population.
Rhinos the world over have been brought to the brink of extension due to their horns, which are believed to have medical properties by many Asian nations. There is no evidence to support these claims, but that has yet to deter the poachers. The horns are also used to decorate ornamental daggers.
Other efforts are being taken in addition to the increase in staff. A 150 km barrier has been built along the Mozambique border do to the number of poachers from that area.
The Rhino is one of Africa’s most distinct and heralded creatures and South Africa is not taking the risk to their survival lightly. This increase will bring the total number of rangers in Kruger to 650 and will hopefully curb the unpleasant and illegal practice of killing these creatures.
Image Source: Lip Kee/Flickr