Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Endangered black rhino slaughtered in Zimbabwe

Endangered black rhinos slaughtered in Zimbabwe

Jan 25, 2011, 9:22 GMT

Harare – Seven of Zimbabwe’s critically endangered black rhinoceros
population have been killed by poachers in the past fortnight as demand for
its horn has soared, wildlife conservation officials said Tuesday.

Zimbabwe’s black rhino population has declined from 7,000 in the 1980s to
less than 200 today, according to the private Zimbabwe Conservation Task
Force that helps raise funds for rhino preservation.

Vitalis Chadenga, director of the state Parks and Wildlife Management
Authority, was quoted in the daily Herald newspaper as saying five of the
rhino were shot in the Matopos national park in the south-west and two were
killed in a private game sanctuary in the Chiredzi district in the
south-east of Zimbabwe.

The official said poachers were adopting more sophisticated killing
techniques, operating with high powered rifles fitted with silencers and
night sights to poach animals in the dark.

Rhino horn is made up of keratin, the main component of human hair and
toenails, but anti-smuggling agencies say in the Far East it is invested
with mythical powers as an aphrodisiac and, more recently, as a cancer cure.


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