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Rhino Poaching

LEO is passionate and dedicated towards the conservation and protection of both black and white rhinos, which are under increasing threat from poachers for their horns. Rhino horns are more valuable than gold or cocaine and are illegally obtained* to be shipped off to areas including Vietnam or China where they are used in traditional medicine**

Illegal rhino trade routes

  • In 2014, 1215 rhinos were poached in South Africa. This is an increase of 90 times the number poached in 2007
  • In 2013, 1004 rhinos were poached in South Africa. That's an average of 3 rhinos per day
  • In 2015, there are 20,170 white rhinos and 4,848 black rhinos in Africa, with more than 80% of those rhinos living in South Africa
  • Experts are now warning that, without urgent action, rhinos may face extinction by as early as 2020

Rhino poaching statistics

Rhino poaching has increased exponentially since 2007 and both national parks and private game reserves are being targeted equally in this rhino war. The front-line against poaching is anti-poaching patrol teams, which you will learn about firsthand while volunteer at LEO. The park's anti-poaching is conducted by a private group with no relation to LEO. While it is not possible to directly participate in these patrols, there are many opportunities to learn about anti-poaching methods and techniques while here.

Remember, rhinos are secretive and often difficult to spot - which means ensuring their well-being is all the more important! By keeping an active eye on our rhinos, their behaviour, and their health, you help increase their protection while contributing to the knowledge of the park's overall rhino population.

The trade in rhino horn or rhino products has been banned since 1977.
** Scientific testing has confirmed that rhino horn has NO medicinal properties.

NB For safety reasons, we do not allow the publication of rhino photos and have digitally altered the ones that appear on our website.

For additional information on rhinos (and the current rhino war), please check out these links:

"WWF Rhino Page"
"WWF Black Rhino Site"
More interesting facts about rhinos...