The vanishing rhino

Associated Press
FILE - In this undated photo supplied by International Fund For Animal Welafre (IFAW), orphaned black rhinos square up after their release into a holding boma at Addo National Park, 50 miles north-east of Port Elizabeth, South Africa after each was abandoned at birth. Mozambique's rhinoceros population was wiped out more than a century ago by big game hunters. Reconstituted several years ago, it has again been driven to extinction, or to the brink of extinction, by poachers seeking their horns for sale in Asia. (AP Photo/Jon Hrusa, IFAW, File)

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More than 1,000 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa in 2013, a record number and an increase of over 50 percent from the previous year, the country's department of environmental affairs said on Friday.

Rhino hunting is driven by soaring demand in newly affluent Asian countries such as Vietnam and China, where the animal's horns are prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicine. (Reuters)

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