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South Africa says over 1,000 rhinos poached in 2013

Published on Jan 17, 2014 9:14 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - More than 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa last year, a 50 per cent increase from 2012, fuelled by the black-market demand for their horns, the government said Friday.

"The total number of rhino poached in South Africa during 2013 increased to 1,004," the environment ministry announced in a statement.

Asian demand for rhino horn - prized as a status symbol and wrongly thought to possess medicinal properties - has fuelled an ever more intense onslaught on the animals.

South Africa is home to around 80 per cent of the world's rhino population, estimated at more than 25,000.

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