South African police seize 10 rhino horns
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
The seizure this past week of ten rhino horns highlights the danger that poses rhino populations in South Africa and its neighbouring countries. According to swazitrails.co.sz South Africa is losing close to one rhino a day, a rate that would wipe-out Swaziland’s entire rhino population within half a year. Swaziland’s rhino population was extinct in the early 1900s. It is evident that South Africa’s own population is facing the same risk due to the new market hard-pressed by wealthy Vietnamese and Chinese in search for the latest aphrodisiac, an alleged quality of the rhino horn.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African police spokesman says officers tipped off by an anonymous informer forced their way into a Johannesburg apartment where they found 10 rhinoceros horns and an elephant tusk and arrested a Vietnamese man.
Spokesman Vish Naidoo said Wednesday the man will appear in court on Friday on charges that include illegal possession of rhino horn. Naidoo says the had refused to let police in when they arrived at the apartment late Tuesday, so they forced open his door.
China and Vietnam are major markets for rhino horn, where some believe the horn has medicinal qualities.
So far this year, more than 200 rhinos have been poached in South Africa, nearly half the record 448 poached last year. But arrests are also increasing, with 165 so far this year compared to 232 for all of last year.
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