One of the main threats for the white rhinos’ population is poaching for the illegal trade of the horn used in traditional Chinese medicine, as aphrodisiac and for ornamental purposes. For examples it is considered a prestigious material for the realisation of the handles of traditional daggers (jambiyas) in some Middle East countries. Until a few years ago, poaching did not have an impact on the number of white rhinos in Africa; however, it drastically increased in the last years in response of a significant rise of horns’ value on the black market. Today the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) is classified as “Near Threatened” in the IUCN Red List. In many African countries, poaching against this species continues to claim victims: in South Africa almost 4,000 individuals have been killed in the last 3 years, and now Namibia has become the new hunting territory for poaching with over 80 individuals killed in 2015. Thanks to the use of its own army, only Botswana has been able to contain the threat of poaching.
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