Rhino horn more expensive than gold in South Africa

January 17th, 2011 - 10:12 am ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Jan 17 (IANS) The price of a horn of an African rhino has increased to 400,000 rand ($59,000) per kg, making it far more expensive than gold, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported.Rhino poaching increased in South Africa in 2010, with 330 rhinos shot dead for their horns in wildlife parks around the country, compared to 122 in 2009, according to Xinhua.

The SABC quoted the International Rhino Foundation as saying that demand for rhino horns has caused its price to escalate.

It said rhino poaching cost the country at least 250 million rand ($38 million) in 2010.

Pelham Jones of the South African Rhino Owners’ Association said private game owners are losing their confidence in rhinos as an investment because of the high risk of poaching and the huge cost of protecting the animals.

Recently, five suspected poachers were shot in the Kruger National Park Jan 11 and Jan 12 during a crackdown on criminal gangs smuggling rhino horns.

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