A record number of rhinos were poached in Africa in 2015, a conservationist group has said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says over 1,300 of the species were killed for their horns last year, a record high.
In 8 years, an estimated number of 5,940 rhinos were killed on the continent.
Record year for rhino poaching in Africa – The number of African rhinos poached in 2015 is higher than previous… https://t.co/iTCZDfm6fW— WWF (@WWF) March 10, 2016
The rhino horn is one of the world’s most expensive commodities, fetching about $60,000 per kilo – it is worth more by weight than gold or diamonds.
The IUCN blames continuing demand from South East Asia – where rhino horn is wrongly believed to have medicinal properties – fed by increasingly sophisticated international crime networks.
According to the experts, who do not yet have definitive statistics, the African continent is home to between 19,682 and 21,077 white rhinos and 5,042 – 5,455 black rhinos.
In a country like Cameroon, the black rhino has disappeared because of poachers.