JOHANNESBURG (REUTERS) - South African authorities have arrested two Vietnamese men in possession of 41 kg of rhino horn, the largest haul nabbed in the country battling to stave off poaching of its dwindling stock of the wild animals.
The population of rhinos, indigenous to southern Africa, is being decimated by poachers who supply a demand for horns for decorative and supposed medicinal purposes especially in Asian countries.
A total of 933 rhinos were killed in South Africa in the year to October, from 1,004 in 2013, according to conservation group Stop Rhino Poaching. The country has an estimated 20,000 of the animals, the biggest population in Africa.
The two Vietnamese men were booked on a flight to Hanoi from the capital of neighbouring Mozambique and were arrested during an hour-long stopover in Johannesburg. The horns are believed to have originated in South African parks, a police statement said.