Poachers have killed 668 rhinos in South Africa (South Africa) in 2012, beating, so the "record" of 2011, when the hands of the hunters killed 448 horns of equine, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International, referring to the South African government figures.
"The statistics published by the South African government, show that in the country in 2012, poachers have killed a record number of rhinos — 668 individuals, which is almost 50% compared with 2011. Moreover, since the beginning of the year killed five animals" , — stated in the fund.
Most rhino — 425 — died in 2012 at the hands of poachers in the Kruger National Park in the northeast of South Africa, where the number of animals killed also significantly increased compared with 2011, which killed 252 individuals.
At the same time, the number of people arrested on suspicion of poaching and illegal trade in rhino derivatives also increased, reaching 267 in 2012. Thus, according to WWF, in November 2012 a Thai national was sentenced to 40 years in prison — a record to long for smuggling derivatives.
On average, at the hands of poachers from 1997 to 2007 annually perished about 15 rhinos, but this number has increased dramatically due to the increase in demand for horns and their value on the Asian black market, especially in Vietnam. Horn contain keratin — a hard protein that can be found in human fingernails — oriental medicine healing properties attributed to it, but scientists say that there is no scientific evidence of this.
In December 2012, Vietnam and South Africa signed an agreement aimed at tightening control over illegal trade in animals and their derivatives, including rhino horn. Between the countries will be established system of exchange of information that will allow them to work together to combat criminal syndicates smuggling people behind derivatives.
"Despite the fact that the WWF welcomes the signing of a memorandum of understanding on biodiversity between South Africa and Vietnam, and now need to move to the implementation of a joint plan of action to save rhinos, seize more horns. Additionally, it is important to work closely with the countries through which the smuggling, particularly Mozambique "- leads a message to the coordinator of WWF South Africa's program to save rhinos Joe Shaw.