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Another animal left to die in agony by the poachers: Horrified tourists discover rhino wandering in pain after its horn is hacked off in latest Kruger National Park horror

  • A film of a mutilated rhino in South Africa was uploaded to YouTube
  • It remained alive for five days before being found by rangers and put down
  • They found that it had a bullet lodged in its brain and wouldn’t have lived
  • The rate of rhino poaching in South Africa is horrific’ - WWF
  • Poached to the brink of extinction, endangered species could be moved to Australia to create an ‘insurance population’

Evidence of the brutality of poachers in South Africa has surfaced once again with a shocking video of another badly mutilated rhino in Kruger National Park.

Footage of the animal staggering along a road with its horn hacked off was filmed by horrified tourists and uploaded to YouTube.

Clearly in distress, the film, shot on February 28, shows the rhino swaying from side to side and then stumbling into the undergrowth.

The heart-breaking footage follows a graphic video that went viral earlier in February of a white rhino found in the same park last year that had its horns, tongue, nose and eyes savagely hacked off. The animal had to be euthanized.

And the rhino filmed more recently was also put down, but tragically it remained alive in agony for five days.It wasn’t found by park rangers until Tuesday and they discovered that it had a bullet lodged in its brain.

Reynold Thakhuli from South African National Parks said: ‘An assessment was conducted to determine the extent of the injuries and suffering. It was discovered that a bullet had lodged in the rhino’s brain and therefore any chance of survival was slim.’

Thakhuli said the Ranger in charge, after a thorough assessment of the animal, took a decision to put it down to end the suffering that it had endured since the poaching incident.

He said: ‘There was simply no chance of surviving for this poor animal and unfortunately it had to be put down.

‘We will continue to work hard in the fight against the overwhelming scourge that is currently targeting the KNP… to us one rhino killed is one too many.’ 

South African National Parks said in a statement that it would like to ‘extend its gratitude to the visitors who alerted the authorities about the heart-breaking incident’.

Heather Sohl, Chief Species Advisor at WWF-UK, told MailOnline: ‘It’s a terrible sight, but this video has highlighted an occurrence that sadly isn’t as rare as it should be.

'The rate of rhino poaching in South Africa is horrific and it’s happening to feed an unnecessary demand for their horns in Asia.

Last year 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa by poachers, which is a shocking 7,700 per cent more than 2007, when 13 rhinos were poached. This means nearly three rhinos were poached every day, representing more than a 150 per cent increase on the number killed in 2012. Unfortunately the rate of poaching so far this year shows no sign of reducing. We need strong action to combat this serious crime.’

This latest event comes on the heels of a proposed plan to move some rhinos from South Africa to Australia in a last-ditch attempt to save two of their species from extinction.

Black and white rhinos are classed as ‘critically endangered’ and are being slaughtered in record numbers for their horns, with one sub-species, the western black, confirmed as extinct last year.

But businessmen Ray Dearlove and Allan Davies, who founded the Australian Rhino Project last December, have a plan.

They are currently in discussions with Taronga Zoo and the Australian and South African governments about shipping the animals to Taronga Western Plains Zoo near Dubbo, central NSW, and bred in the hope of creating an ‘insurance’ population.

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is already home to a small number of black and white rhinos.

A Taronga Zoo spokesman said the plan was still in its ‘very early days.’

The next step, according to Mr Dearlove, is convincing the Australian government to relax its strict quarantine laws to allow the animals into the country.

He said they would then need to convince the South African government to ‘loan’ the animals to Australia, he told Channel 10’s Studio 10 program.

Poaching means white rhino numbers in South Africa are getting dangerously close to the tipping point when deaths outnumber births, pushing the population into serious decline.

Rhino horns, which can earn as much as $20,000 per kilogram on the black market, are believed to cure a number of illnesses and ailments, including poisoning, hallucinations, typhoid, carbuncles, cancer, fever, and boils.

But Dr Arne Schiotz of WWF told the National Geographic, said: ‘You would get the same effect from chewing your own fingernails.’

The horns are smuggled by transnational criminal networks to markets in Vietnam and China. There is evidence of links between the trafficking of rhino parts along with ivory from elephants and other forms of organised crime, such as the trafficking of people, drugs, and weapons.

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    WWF are scum and control hunting from the inside-they are HUNTERS!
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    Needs to STOP
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