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Extinction of western black rhino raises concerns in Cameroon

November 21, 2011

The western black rhino, one of the four sub-species of rhinos living in South Africa, was recently declared extinct, which has raised concerns for the remaining creatures that are still being illegally hunted for their horns. Conservations programs in the early 1900s were successful at keeping the number of rhinos high, but when poachers began hunting the creatures en masse in the 70s, their numbers began to fall dramatically, the Jamaican Observer reported.

"Anyone caught poaching was not sentenced, hence no deterrents were in place," Craig Hilton-Taylor, the manager of the Red List of endangered species in Oxford, U.K., told the news source.

Cameroon was home to the ten remaining western black rhinos, but traces of their presence - tracks, droppings or signs of feeding - dropped off in 2006. The news source reports that there are only about 4,800 black rhinos left, but the western sub-species' unique double horn and longer legs are lost.

Animal rights activists and people who are interested in finding out what is being done to conserve the species can make calls to Cameroon to talk to their friends and families about the situation.

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