By Alex Bell
The poaching crisis in Zimbabwe continues to intensify, with the shooting and dehorning of two white rhinos in the protected Matopos National Park.
The carcasses were discovered on Thursday, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.
The Zimbabwe Parks Authority (ZimParks) has not yet confirmed the shooting.
But according to the Task Force chairman, Johnny Rodrigues, the animals were found on Thursday morning, both with their horns removed.
Rhino horn holds huge value for poachers, who sell the horns on to mainly Eastern buyers for tens of thousands of dollars. In nations like China, Vietnam and Laos rhino horn is believed to have healing or aphrodisiac properties, and the demand for horn has seen the animals being poached to dangerously low levels.
In South Africa alone, the number of rhinos killed for their horns is close to 800 since January this year. And in West Africa, the wild black rhino has officially been listed as extinct this week.
The poaching crisis in Zimbabwe has been making international news headlines, after the mass poisoning of elephants in the Hwange National Park.
ZimParks has said that 100 elephants have died as a result of the poisoning, by way of the toxic cyanide chemical that was used to lace salt licks in Hwange. Nine people have been arrested since the first carcasses of poisoned elephants were found in late August. More....