SEP 12, 2017 8:49 AM PDT

A Strong Message Gets Delivered to Rhino Poachers

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Animal poachers commonly target rhinos because of the large horns situated on their heads. The horns carry high monetary value in countries throughout Asia, as they're an essential ingredient in traditional medicines thought to cure a broad range of diseases.

Rhinos are heavily poached because of their valuable horns. The creatures continue to inch closer to extinction.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Despite their high cost and the high demand that ensues, it’s illegal to kill rhinos and snatch their horns. Law enforcement agencies throughout South Africa condemn the sick practice, and their latest actions deliver a strong message to anyone who’s even thinking about it.

30-year-old Mapoyisa Mahlauli, a rhino poacher from Mozambique, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing a local rhino and sawing off its horns for profit. Authorities captured him late last year in Kruger National Park after he committed the heinous act, and he’s been awaiting sentencing since that time.

Mozambican police emphasize that the punishment fits the crime and how this will set an example as to what poachers can expect if they're caught killing rhinos or other protected wildlife. It’s hoped that the news of this punishment will echo across the land and deter animal poaching altogether.

Related: Why are these baby white rhinos making such an odd noise?

Fewer than 30,000 rhinos walk the Earth today, and that number continues to shrink as a result of animal poaching. Poachers have killed as many as 7,100 rhinos throughout Africa in the last decade, and at least 1,000 of those died in South Africa just last year alone.

Of those 30,000 rhinos, most are a subspecies known as the southern white rhino. An additional subspecies, the northern white rhino, isn’t faring as well as its counterpart. Just three northern white rhinos remain in existence today, down from 500 in the 1970’s, and experts are having difficulties getting them to reproduce in captivity. With that in mind, the lingering threat of the northern white rhino subspecies (and others) going extinct is very real, and poaching is to blame.

Related: The first Sumatran has been spotted in the Indonesian Borneo in 40 years

Many other rhino species are also listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List, but as the damage inflicted by poaching over the years indicates, awareness isn't enough; it needs to be stopped in its entirety.

Conservationists will continue stressing the necessity of stricter laws and improved animal protections. Not only does it matter for the future of rhinos, but also for every other threatened, endangered, or critically-endangered species nearing extinction due to poor choices.

Source: Newsbeat Social

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 27, 2022
Plants & Animals
Genetically-modified Lettuce Could Help Prevent Bone Density Loss in Astronauts
MAR 27, 2022
Genetically-modified Lettuce Could Help Prevent Bone Density Loss in Astronauts
It’s no secret that living in space can take a significant toll on the body. Research suggests that there are a ra ...
APR 05, 2022
Plants & Animals
How Eating Mushrooms Improves Gut Health
APR 05, 2022
How Eating Mushrooms Improves Gut Health
Mushrooms have a strange and fascinating history. They’ve always been viewed with significant skepticism, as many ...
APR 18, 2022
Plants & Animals
Some Fish Species Can Count
APR 18, 2022
Some Fish Species Can Count
If someone asked you if fish could count, your response would probably be… probably not? Counting seems like an a ...
MAY 31, 2022
Neuroscience
How Visual Maps are Generated in the Brain
MAY 31, 2022
How Visual Maps are Generated in the Brain
Different parts of the brain have been carefully mapped, so we have some idea of what parts of the brain are used to per ...
JUN 05, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
Can This Shockingly Simple Model Explain How Life Arose?
JUN 05, 2022
Can This Shockingly Simple Model Explain How Life Arose?
Scientists have long sought to determine how life first arose on our planet, and finding an answer to that question coul ...
JUN 22, 2022
Microbiology
How Mites That Live on Our Faces are Evolving to Become Symbionts
JUN 22, 2022
How Mites That Live on Our Faces are Evolving to Become Symbionts
Our bodies contain huge numbers of microbes - inside and out. We even have face mites. New research has shown that the m ...
Loading Comments...