Nola, one of the four northern white rhinoceros left on Earth died Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, leaving behind the remaining three white rhinos of her kind.
The 41-year-old rhino named Nola was brought to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 1989. At the age of two, the rhino was captured from the wild and was brought to a Czech zoo.
In 2008 northern white rhinoceros were declared extinct in the wild, primarily as a result of poaching. The three remaining rhinos live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya.
The Save the Rhino conservation group reported that there are about 5,000 black rhinos and 20,400 southern white rhinos living in Africa. Approximately fifty to sixty Javan rhinos live in south-east Asia.
To end poaching of both rhinos and elephants, researchers at London’s Metropolitan Police, University College London, and King’s College London have developed a fingerprint powder that can detect the poacher’s fingerprints on the tusks of elephants.
The Tanzanian government also launched in March the Spidernet anti-poaching operation. They managed to capture several poachers, including Yang Feng Glan who is accused of the biggest ivory-smuggling rings led in Africa.
The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (Black Mamba APU) – founded in 2013 – is a ranger unit composed mostly of women who protect wildlife in South Africa, specifically in the regions of the Greater Kruger National Park and the Balule Nature Reserveand. The unit fought illegal trade and was rewarded with the Champions of the Earth Award in September for their efforts.
Collet Ngobeni, a member of the Black Mambas said that people have to be taught how important nature really is, and learn to cherish it.
According to the Save the Rhino group, due to the rarity of rhinos nowadays, the price of rhino horn gets higher, and higher. For people who have a very low annual income, killing an animal that they do not value, and which can change their lives for the better (because of all the money), seems like a great opportunity, the group explained.
Experts say that one pound (0.45 kilograms) of ivory on the black market can sell for up to $1,500. Given the fact that just one elephant tusk weighs about 250 pounds (113.39 kilograms) that represents more than three times the average annual income in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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