West African Black Rhinos Are Now Extinct

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It’s a bleak month for rhinos. In less than 30 days, two subspecies have been declared extinct. The Atlantic reports that just a few weeks after the Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam was declared extinct, the West African black rhino, which haven’t been found since 2006, was officially marked down as extinct.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the United Nations-backed body that makes these types of depressing declarations, has also warned that other subspecies are facing the same fate, all because of widespread poaching. Many rhinos are poached for their horns as they’re widely believed to have potent healing properties. Though none of the traditional rhino horn remedies have been scientifically proven to work (and killing rhinos is illegal, regardless), the horns are still incredibly valuable.

Which, unfortunately, translates to a staggeringly high number of rhino deaths. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora reports that 330 rhinos have been killed already this year.

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