Prince William has issued a warning urging the halt of rhino poaching, for their horns, after a recent spike in the number of killings in Kenya. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010, reported five rhinos were poached within a two week period in December 2012. The Daily Mail reports today (Thursday) the Duke has issued a statement expressing his concern over the recent increase in slaughters. "Action must be taken now to stem the tide before it is too late and these magnificent creatures become lost to the wild forever," the statement reads.
Lewa Wildlife officials say 2012 was the worst year for their rhino poaching on their 62,000 acre sanctuary. "2012 was our blackest year," a Lewa spokesperson is quoted as saying. "The severity and frequency of these attacks is a clear indication of the level of threat that Lewa's rhinos face, the highest in history."
In June of last year, Prince William called those in the illegal rhino horn trade "extremely ignorant, selfish and utterly wrong." Poaching has dramatically diminished the rhino population in Africa to the point where extinction in the wild is a serious concern. Black rhinos are especially at risk.
Rhino horns are very valuable and in some countries, particularly in the Far East, they are believed to offer medical benefits. Their horns are considered more valuable than gold which has attracted high tech and organized poachers.