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African rhino poaching hits record on cancer claim

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 3:25am
Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A record number of African rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa this year, driven by the use of their horns in Chinese medicine and a spreading belief in Southeast Asia, unfounded in science, that they may cure cancer.

The street value of rhinoceros horns has soared to about $65,000 a kilogramme, making it more expensive than gold.

South Africa, home to more than 20,000 rhinos, or about 90 percent of all the rhinos in Africa, lost 455 rhinos to poachers, as of Tuesday, to eclipse the 448 killed in all of 2011, the environment ministry said in a statement.

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