SOUTH AFRICA

Tourist films shocking video of rhino mutilated by poachers

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In a sad reminder that poachers continue to run rampant in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, a Belgian tourist has shared a video he filmed there last month showing a badly mutilated rhinoceros.

 

WARNING: This video is graphic and may shock viewers.

 

 

In an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, Marc Braeckman, who filmed the video on February 28, explained that he and his friends were about to leave the park when they spotted a young male rhino, who had its back turned to them. They were overjoyed, as they hadn’t seen a single rhino yet. However, when the animal turned around, they saw that his horns were missing. He stumbled towards their car, visibly in pain.

 

On their way out, the tourists alerted park authorities, who located the rhino several days later. According to the park’s spokesperson, they discovered that a bullet had lodged into his brain and understood that his chance of survival was slim. Therefore, they decided to euthanise him.

 

South African authorities are dealing with a sharp rise in rhino poaching. A record 1,004 rhinos were killed by poachers last year, 606 of them in Kruger park while 146 have been killed this year. The poachers are responding to high demand from China and Vietnam, where rhino horns are crushed into powder and sold as medicine.