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South Africa looking to save rhino population

December 6, 2012

It is no secret that animal advocates across the globe are trying to eliminate all poaching and other forms of animal cruelty in order to protect various species. According to NBC News, the latest effort has been to save rhinos in South Africa from becoming victims of poachers, and activists have developed new technology to do just that.

South Africa has developed a new high-tech, low-speed plane that will detect poachers hopefully before they strike, lowering the number of rhinos being killed. This year, 558 rhinos have been killed by poachers.

"This is a war. You cannot take a stick to a gunfight," Ivor Ichikowitz, chairman of Africa's largest privately held defense firm, Paramount, told the news source.

Paramount manufactured the plane donated to the South Africa National Park Service.

According to AngolaPress, the rhino horn is what these poachers are after, as it is considered a part of traditional Asian medicine, even though there is no scientific proof of its benefits.

"The killing of rhinos for their horns does not exist in a vacuum, but is a complex problem where values of tradition and culture have been corrupted in the name of commercial exploitation," director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Jason Bell, told the news source. "Be it elephants and ivory, tigers and tiger parts, rhinos and rhino horn, the endpoint is the same - profit. And that profit is being chased down in the most brutal fashion by organised crime syndicates."

With this new plane, advocates are hoping that number of rhinos killed will decrease dramatically.

Those who want to talk about the rhinos and the fight against poachers can make calls to South Africa using international calling cards


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