2012 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 1st prize

Rhino Wars

Photographer

Brent Stirton

Reportage by Getty Images for <em>National Geographic</em> magazine

25 March, 2011

With rhinoceros horn worth more than gold, the animals are the target of poachers. South Africa alone lost over 400 rhinos to illegal poaching in 2011. It is estimated there are only 16,000 rhinos left in the world, and the animal faces extinction.

About

Brent Stirton

Brent Stirton is a special correspondent for Getty Images, and a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine as well as other international titles.  He speci...

Background story

Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa

A man holds up the horn of a white rhino, which has been removed by a vet, to help protect the animal by poachers. Despite the fact that rhinoceros horn is illegal worldwide, demand is rising steeply as a newly wealthy Asian middle class is able to afford the prized substance, previously the province of the rich. Authorities are often bribed, or turn a blind eye to illegal trade in, and use of rhino horn. Ground rhino horn is used primarily as an anti-fever and anti-toxin medication, in practices that go back centuries. In Vietnam, where a senior government minister has claimed that rhino horn cured his cancer, it sells for €1,865 per 100g to local customers, and for over €6,340 to foreign buyers. With rhinoceros horn worth more than gold, the animals are the target of poachers. South Africa alone lost over 400 rhinos to illegal poaching in 2011. It is estimated there are only 16,000 rhinos left in the world, and the animal faces extinction.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/30 sec
Focal length
35 mm
F-Stop
10
Camera
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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