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Poachers killed 18 rhinos in Kaziranga sanctuary in 2012

Kaziranga (Assam), Jan 10: Out of the early morning mists and tall grass of northeast India emerges a massive creature with a dinosaur-like face, having survived millions of years despite a curse -- literally on

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk Updated on: January 10, 2013 17:16 IST

The rhino war is a bloody one on all counts. A number of guards have been killed along with 108 poachers since 1985 while 507 rhino have perished by gunfire, electrocution or spiked pits set by the poachers, according to the park. More than 50 poachers were arrested last year.

"It's highly organized crime where someone comes to buy, somebody supplies the arms, someone comes as a shooter and local field men help them," says veteran park chief N.K. Vasu, as a nighttime operation that nets one poacher gets under way.  

"If mobilization had not occurred there would have been widespread killings."

Reflecting the globalization of wildlife trafficking, the accelerating slaughter for China's market occurs wherever one of the world's oldest and largest mammals are found, especially in southern Africa.  

In South Africa alone, more than 630 rhinos fell to poachers last year, up from 13 in 2007, according to the country's Department of Environmental Affairs.

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