South Africa Sees Record Year for Rhino Poaching
More than 1,200 rhinos were illegally killed in 2014 in the country.
South Africa, home to the overwhelming majority of the world's wild rhinos, saw more of the animals poached last year than ever before, its government announced on Thursday. There were 1,215 rhinos illegally killed in the country in 2014, a 21 percent increase from the 1,004 rhinos killed in 2013, according to South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs.
"If poaching is allowed to increase at the rates of the previous few years, it could drive the population to extinction in the next decade or two," says Matthew Lewis, an African species expert with World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Species Conservation Program.
The killing has been driven by demand for rhino horns in Asia, especially in Vietnam and China, where some