Two men have been arrested in north-west South
Africa after 167 rhino horns were found in their vehicle, police said
Police received a tip-off about the "considerable" number of horns and intercepted the men in the Hartbeespoortdam area west of Pretoria. The horns were worth a "substantial" amount of money, police said, adding that they were destined for markets in South-East Asia.
In China and Vietnam 1 kilo of rhino horn can cost up to 30,000 dollars. One horn typically weighs between 3 and 7 kilos.
International trade in rhino horn has been banned for the past four decades but illegal poaching continues, with 1,000 rhinos killed in South Africa alone every year. Some horns are sold as exotic ornaments while in China and Vietnam they are credited with aphrodisiac and healing properties.
They are made of keratin, the same substance which forms human nails. In Africa there are around 25,000 rhinos, around 20,000 of which are found in South Africa. The majority of these animals are white rhinos. The black rhino is critically endangered, with just 5,000 thought to remain in the wild.
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