Rhinos--DRAFT

The South African government says a record 668 rhinos were killed in the country in 2012, an increase of nearly 50 percent over the previous year. Demand is growing in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia where rhino horn is believed to have medical benefits despite evidence to the contrary. The horn is made of keratin, a protein also found in human fingernails.

The New Arrivals At Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

HYTHE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: A 6 month old Black Rhino calf stands with its mother in its enclosure at Lympne Wild Animal Park on June 21, 2011 in Hythe, England. Port Lympne has welcomed a host of new arrivals this year with wildebeest, colobus monkeys, gorillas and rhinos all adding to the current stock. Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal parks were set up by the late John Aspinall to protect and breed rare and endangered species and, where possible, return them to safe areas in the wild. The Aspinall Foundation which runs the parks also manages two gorilla rescue and rehabilitation projects in the central African countries of Gabon and Congo where they have successfully reintroduced over 50 gorillas to the wild. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The New Arrivals At Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

HYTHE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: A 6 month old Black Rhino calf stands with its mother in its enclosure at Lympne Wild Animal Park on June 21, 2011 in Hythe, England. Port Lympne has welcomed a host of new arrivals this year with wildebeest, colobus monkeys, gorillas and rhinos all adding to the current stock. Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal parks were set up by the late John Aspinall to protect and breed rare and endangered species and, where possible, return them to safe areas in the wild. The Aspinall Foundation which runs the parks also manages two gorilla rescue and rehabilitation projects in the central African countries of Gabon and Congo where they have successfully reintroduced over 50 gorillas to the wild. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In this Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 photo, a one-horned rhinoceros grazes inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

This photo taken Jan 12 2013 at an undisclosed conservancy in South Africa shows an orphaned baby rhino in a pen. The 2-month-old calf was hacked with axes and machetes by poachers and left for dead when she tried to return to her mother who was being dehorned. Veterinarians are racing to learn more about rhino anatomy so they can swiftly treat survivors of attacks by poachers whose arsenal has included assault rifles, high-caliber weapons that can fell a rhino with a single shot and drug-tipped darts that knock it out. (AP Photo) SOUTH AFRICA OUT

In this Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 photo, forest guards patrol inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In this Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 photo, one-horned rhinoceroses graze inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In this Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 photo, a rhinoceros runs inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, a two-and-half months old male orphan one-horned rhinoceros calf rescued during recent floods walks at a rehabilitation center inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, a park official feeds a two-and-half month old male orphan one-horned rhinoceros calf rescued during recent floods walks at a rehabilitation center inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, a park official feeds a two-and-half month old male orphan one-horned rhinoceros calf rescued during recent floods walks at a rehabilitation center inside the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife reserve that provides refuge to more than 2,200 endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Even in this well protected reserve, where rangers follow shoot-to-kill orders, poachers are laying siege to “Fortress Kaziranga,” attempting to sheer off the animals' horns to supply a surge in demand for purported medicine in China that's pricier than gold. 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. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

7 Iconic Animals Humans Are Driving to Extinction

Dehorning of a rhinoceros by a field researcher

Rhino Translocation Project

MKOMAZI, TANZANIA - JUNE 19: A male rhino (translocated from the Czech Republic) called Jabu at Mkomazi rhino Sanctuary on June 19, 2012 in Mkomazi, Tanzania. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust combined forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals, Grumeti, Monduli and Zawadi were airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images). (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Rhino Translocation Project

MKOMAZI, TANZANIA - JUNE 18: Male black rhino Monduli stands in his holding 'boma' at Mkomazi rhino sanctuary after a successful translocation on June 18, 2012 in Mkomazi, Tanzania. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals, Grumeti, Monduli and Zawadi are being airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Rhino Translocation Project

MKOMAZI, TANZANIA - JUNE 17: 'Rhino Whisperer' Berry White comforts a rhino in its holding 'Boma' in the Mkomazi rhino sanctuary after its translocation from England to Tanzania in Mkomazi National Park on June 17, 2012 in Mkomazi, Tanzania. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals, Grumeti, Monduli and Zawadi are being airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Rhino Translocation Project

MKOMAZI, TANZANIA - JUNE 19: Rhino skulls outside founder of Mkomazi National Park and Conservationist Tony Fitzjohn's educational facility for children 'Rafiki Wa Faru' or 'Friend of the rhino' at Mkomazi rhino sanctury on June 19, 2012 in Mkomazi, Tanzania. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust combined forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals, Grumeti, Monduli and Zawadi were airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

A baby Rhino and it's mother play at a zoo in Hannover, Germany. Jochen Luebke/dapd/APJochen Luebke/dapd

A male, right, and a female one- horned rhinoceros face each other at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, about 55 kilometers east of Gauhati, India, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Pobitora has the highest density of rhino population in the world. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

White Rhino Born At Disney's Animal Kingdom At Walt Disney World

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MAY 07: In this handout image provided by Disney Parks, Kendi, a 13-year-old female white rhino, tends to her new male calf at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World May 7, 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The yet-unnamed calf was born May 4 after a 16-month gestation period. It is the ninth white rhino born at Disney's Animal Kingdom, with Kendi being the first. (Photo by Gene Duncan/Disney Parks via Getty Images)

What to Read Next