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Poachers Have Killed All Rhinos in Mozambique Park

Rhino poaching
Dehorning of a rhinoceros by a field researcher (Image credit: © Michel Gunther / WWF-Canon)

Sad news from Mozambique: Illegal poachers have killed all the rhinos in Limpopo National Park, a large wildlife reserve in the southeast African country, according to news reports.

Park director António Abacar was quoted as saying this week that no rhinos had been seen since January, "which means that the ones that lived in the park are probably dead," according to the Portugal News.

With all the rhinos gone, poachers are now turning to elephants for their tusks. The horns and tusks are valued for their supposed medicinal value, despite the fact that horns are made of the same basic material as fingernails, with no healing properties. The park spans 4,247 square miles (11,000 square kilometers), an area more than twice the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.  

Meanwhile, Scientific American reports that for the first time in 33 years, a hunter has been allowed to import a trophy into the United States from a black rhino he shot in Namibia, outraging conservationists.

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Douglas Main
Douglas Main loves the weird and wonderful world of science, digging into amazing Planet Earth discoveries and wacky animal findings (from marsupials mating themselves to death to zombie worms to tear-drinking butterflies) for Live Science. Follow Doug on Google+.