Poachers kill rare white rhino in South Africa for less than 1 inch of horn

Poachers in South Africa have killed a rare white rhino in order to claim less than 1 inch of its horn, according to reports.

The female rhino, Bella, was attacked in Kragga Kamma Game Park in Eastern Cape, South Africa, despite the fact she had previously been de-horned in an attempt to save her life.

The perpetrators tore into the 20-year-old’s face to steal 1cm worth of horn, leading to widespread backlash from animal conservationists the world over.

Bella, a rare white rhino, was a mother of four, and had recently been photographed alongside her youngest, a male named Tank.

The young calf, now orphaned, was also injured in the attack, though reports suggest this came as a result of Bella trying to push him to safety – not via the poachers themselves.

Ayesha Cantor, who runs the park, issued a heartfelt statement on Facebook following the attack. She described her disbelief whilst writing: “Its just so unreal, for 1cm of horn – we cannot comprehend the waste of it all.”

“We have always been acutely aware that these rhino are everyone’s rhino, that we are merely their custodians, this has been evident in your outpouring of emotions.”

Posted by Kragga Kamma Game Park on Friday, 29 June 2018

Tank, meanwhile, has been seen trying to befriend another mother following Bella’s death, but isn’t thought to be struggling from the injury he picked up.

According to Save The Rhino, there remain between 19,666 and 21,085 white rhinos left in the world, placing them in the ‘Near Threatened’ category as a species. In the early 1900s, they were nearly wiped out, with numbers falling to as low as 50-100 in the wild. The vast majority of white rhinos call South Africa their home, with keepers on the Eastern Cape regularly removing their horns to try and discourage would-be poachers.

Personally, I’m incensed by the fact that rhinos are still killed for their horns, even after they’re de-horned to prevent such a fate. The world needs a tighter and more cohesive conservation plan if we’re to save the species most at risk, but it’s vital that we continue to spread awareness.

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