Javan rhino goes extinct in Vietnam after last rhino poached
Javan rhino extinct: The last Javan rhino in Vietnam was found poached for its horn.
Vietnam has lost its fight to save its rare Javan rhinoceros population after poachers apparently killed the country's last animal for its horn, pushing one of the world's most endangered species closer to extinction, a conservation group said Tuesday.Skip to next paragraph
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Vietnam's Cat Tien National Park has had no sightings, footprints or dung from live rhinos since the last known animal living there was found dead last April, shot through the leg with its horn chopped off, the WWF said. Genetic analysis of rhino feces had confirmed in 2004 that at least two rhinos were living in the park, raising hopes that Vietnam's population might survive.
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Vietnam's Javan rhino population had been shrinking for decades as land conversion and a rising local population threatened the animal's habitat, but poaching and a lack of effective park management and patrols hastened the decline, said Christy Williams, coordinator of WWF's Asian Elephant and Rhino Program.
"It appears that protection is not being given a high priority by the Vietnamese government," he said.
Watch video of protesters in South Africa outside the Chinese embassy protesting the poaching of rhinos there:
Park director Tran Van Thanh said that while some of his rangers failed to fulfill their duties, it is impossible for them to stop all of the estimated 100,000 people living near the park from hunting exotic animals when the average farmer there earns around 150,000 dong ($7.50) per day.
"We're not trying to avoid our responsibility in the death of the rhinos, but we've done our best to protect them," Thanh said.