This horrific video of a rhino stumbling across a road was posted to YouTube earlier this month and shot in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Yes, a national park. Despite ongoing efforts to curb poaching and save the critically endangered black rhino and near threatened white rhino, more than 1,000 were slaughtered for their horns last year in South Africa alone.
False claims that rhino horn can cure everything from cancer to diabetes have led to a surge in demand in some Asian markets where a single kilogram is worth more than twice its weight in gold. Ground horn has also become a popular party drug for the rich, but consuming it is actually identical to chewing on your fingernails.
The White House unveiled a new strategy to combat wildlife trafficking in the U.S. last month, but without a serious change in recent trends, the entire species could be gone within the next 10 years.
UPDATE: 10:00 p.m. -- The dehorned rhino seen in the video was spotted by visitors to Kruger National Park on February 28, but wildlife officials were unable to locate it until March 4, according to a press release from South African National Parks. The animal was found alive, but rangers discovered that a bullet was lodged in the rhino's brain and it had to be put down later that day.
“We will continue to work hard in the fight against the overwhelming scourge that is currently targeting the KNP," a release announcing the rhino's fate said. “To us one rhino killed is one too many.”
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