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Save The Rhinos: Plan To Relocate Them From South Africa To Australia

First Posted: Apr 25, 2016 06:09 AM EDT
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Rhino is being hunted illegally because of its horn, which some people believed can be used in traditional medicine.
(Photo : Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

A new project aims to relocate about 80 rhinoceroses from South Africa to the safari parks in Australia to prevent them from being hunted to extinction. It is named the Australian Rhino Project.

There were about 1,300 rhinos that were killed illegally in Africa in 2015, according to Reuters. The poaching of rhinos is increasing due to the demand from Vietnam and China wherein they use the rhino horn in traditional medicine. They believe that the rhino horn can cure the range of ailments from cancer to colds. Conservationists said that approximately they sell it for about $65,000 per kilogram.

The goal of the project together with the South Africa's Elephants, Rhinos and People (ERP) is to create an "insurance population." If in case the project is effective, they would relocate more rhinos to safe places such as in Florida and Texas.

Wouter van Hoven, the ERP Director said that it is easier for the poachers to hunt rhinos in Africa rather than in Australia and America. "It's not that we want to get the rhinos out of Africa but we need to put some rhinos into a safe deposit box."

Save the Rhino, a conservation organization, states that 5,940 African rhinos were killed since 2008, according to Science Alert. The number keeps rising and the group wants this illegal activity to stop.

Rhinoceros mean "nose horn." It is also called rhino. It is one of the five extant species in the family of Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species come from Africa and the other three to Southern Asia.

The rhino horns are being sold in the black market and cost as much as gold. The horns of rhinos are made of keratin, which is a protein that fashions the fingernails and hair. The people pulverize the rhino horn. They believe that the dust can be used for therapeutic purposes.

 

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