Monday, 17 December 2012

Rhino poaching: South Africa and Vietnam sign deal

South Africa has signed a deal with Vietnam to help curb the rising number of illegally slaughtered rhinos, officials announced on Monday.

The price of rhino horn - used in traditional medicine in Asian countries - has soared.

Rhino poaching is already banned under international conventions but figures show the number of rhinos killed in 2012 was nearly double the 2010 figure.

South Africa is home to about 85% of Africa's estimated 25,000 rhinos.

Conservation groups have welcomed the move as the first official co-operation between the two nations on the issue.

The trade in rhino horn has been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) since 1980.

At least 618 rhinos have been poached in South Africa in 2012, nearly double the number of those killed in 2010, latest official figures show.

Most of the killings took place in the world-famous Kruger National Park.

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