Illegal poaching is the number one cause for decline in population as the rhino horn becomes more and more valuable--The number of rhinos poached in South Africa alone has increased by 9,000% since 2007 - from 13 to a record 1,215 in 2014. Even in Asian counties, they are valued as they show status and wealth and are used in medicines in China and Vietnam.
Poachers will tranquilize a rhino and cut off its horn, usually leaving it to wake up and bleed to death. In the poaching world, death is ideal as the slight chance of accidentally tracking down a dehorned rhino is inconvenient.
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