The fact that the rhino poaching of South Africa has fallen for 5 years in a row is something to celebrate. However, despite this there is a lot that we still need to be concerned about.
In 2019 594 Rhinos were killed within the Kruger National Park by poachers. In 2015 a little over 1300 rhino were lost to poachers, in the same area. As such, cutting the poaching by more than half in the space of only 5 years is impressive ( though, it should be noted that the rise was more rapid than the fall has been), 594 Rhinos killed is still a huge number.
South Africa hosts over 90% of the world’s remaining Rhinos, which means that any poaching here has a large impact on the world’s population. It should be noted that the 594 Rhinos lost last year in South Africa Is the equivalent of 4 times the total world population of Sumatra and Java Rhinos that remain.
What I’m saying is that the fight has not been won. Were the South African government to stop fighting so hard for the survival of rhinos, this little progress could be undone in the space of months.
While a great deal of the credit must go to the South African government, Conservation organisations and Asian country governments have done a great deal to reduce the demand for rhino horn by educating their populace.
Indeed the price given for rhino horn has declined from $65,000 to only $22,000 per kilo. This is obviously still an absurdly high rate, however given the extreme risks this can often make it unviable ( It is not uncommon for rhino poachers to be killed and eaten by lions or other animals, Indeed, as one of the big 5 rhino are one of the most dangerous animals to hunt anyway).
There is clearly still work to be done, when a substance we all grow on our fingers and toes is worth such an absurdly large amount of money. Rhino horn is talked about as a miracle cure for all sorts of elements, but scientific analysis has shown that none of this is true at all. Chemically the rhino horn is almost identical to our own fingernails and toenails, and we would get just as much good by eating them.