Poachers Have Killed More Than 500 Rhinos in South Africa in 2014

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 11 2014 1:48 PM

Poachers Have Killed More Than 500 Rhinos in South Africa in 2014

173213657-newly-born-white-rhinoceros-walks-with-its-mother-in
A newly born white rhinoceros walks with its mother in Kruger National Park.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Poachers have killed more than 500 rhinoceroses in South Africa this year, AFP reports, and wildlife officials fear that at this rate the country is on course to break its 2013 record of 1,004 rhino deaths, which had been the highest recorded in the past seven years.

Approximately 25,000 rhinos exist in the world today, and South Africa is home to 80 percent of the world population. Most of the killing takes place in Kruger National Park, a renowned safari spot where 351 rhinos have been poached since January 2014. Poaching in Africa has risen in the past decade, reports say, because of the appetite for rhino horn in Asia.

Irene Chidinma Nwoye is a writer and former Slate intern in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.

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