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Pictures | Wed Apr 25, 2012 | 4:40pm EDT

Africa's poaching problem

<p>Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in South Africa, April 19, 2012. Elephant and rhino poaching is surging, conservationists say, an illegal piece of Asia's scramble for African resources, driven by the growing purchasing power of the region's newly affluent classes. In South Africa, nearly two rhinos a day are being killed to meet demand for the animal's horn, which is worth more than its weight in gold.  REUTERS/Mike Hutchings </p>

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in South Africa, April 19, 2012. Elephant and rhino poaching is surging, conservationists...more

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in South Africa, April 19, 2012. Elephant and rhino poaching is surging, conservationists say, an illegal piece of Asia's scramble for African resources, driven by the growing purchasing power of the region's newly affluent classes. In South Africa, nearly two rhinos a day are being killed to meet demand for the animal's horn, which is worth more than its weight in gold. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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<p>The carcasses of some of the 22 elephants slaughtered in a helicopter-borne attack lie on the ground  in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Garamba National Park, in this undated handout picture released by the DRC Military. A record number of big ivory seizures were made globally in 2011 and the trend looks set to continue in 2012 as elephant massacres take place from Congo to Cameroon, where as many as 200 of the pachyderms, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as "vulnerable", were slain in January.   
 REUTERS/DRC Military/Handout </p>

The carcasses of some of the 22 elephants slaughtered in a helicopter-borne attack lie on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Garamba National Park, in this undated handout picture released by the DRC Military. A record number of big...more

The carcasses of some of the 22 elephants slaughtered in a helicopter-borne attack lie on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Garamba National Park, in this undated handout picture released by the DRC Military. A record number of big ivory seizures were made globally in 2011 and the trend looks set to continue in 2012 as elephant massacres take place from Congo to Cameroon, where as many as 200 of the pachyderms, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as "vulnerable", were slain in January. REUTERS/DRC Military/Handout

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<p>Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in South Africa April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings </p>

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in South Africa April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident in South Africa April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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<p>Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012.   REUTERS/Mike Hutchings</p>

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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<p>Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings </p>

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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<p>A pair of elephants walk through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings</p>

A pair of elephants walk through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A pair of elephants walk through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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<p>A White Rhino walks through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings </p>

A White Rhino walks through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A White Rhino walks through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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<p>A rhino is dehorned by a veterinary surgeon and rangers to prevent poaching at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province in South Africa September 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev </p>

A rhino is dehorned by a veterinary surgeon and rangers to prevent poaching at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province in South Africa September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

A rhino is dehorned by a veterinary surgeon and rangers to prevent poaching at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province in South Africa September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

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<p>A ranger shows part of a rhino horn after a rhino was dehorned by a veterinary surgeon to prevent poaching at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev</p>

A ranger shows part of a rhino horn after a rhino was dehorned by a veterinary surgeon to prevent poaching at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

A ranger shows part of a rhino horn after a rhino was dehorned by a veterinary surgeon to prevent poaching at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

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<p>Dehorned rhinos are seen at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province September 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev </p>

Dehorned rhinos are seen at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

Dehorned rhinos are seen at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

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<p>A warden stands guard as an illegal consignment of five tonnes of Ivory confiscated from smugglers is destroyed during the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day in Tsavo West National Park, 380 km (236 miles) east of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi July 20, 2011. The confiscated consignment, recovered from smugglers in Singapore in 2002, originated from poaching activities in both Zambia and Malawi, government officials said. REUTERS/Noor Khamis </p>

A warden stands guard as an illegal consignment of five tonnes of Ivory confiscated from smugglers is destroyed during the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day in Tsavo West National Park, 380 km (236 miles) east of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi July...more

A warden stands guard as an illegal consignment of five tonnes of Ivory confiscated from smugglers is destroyed during the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day in Tsavo West National Park, 380 km (236 miles) east of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi July 20, 2011. The confiscated consignment, recovered from smugglers in Singapore in 2002, originated from poaching activities in both Zambia and Malawi, government officials said. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

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<p>An illegal consignment of five tonnes of Ivory confiscated from smugglers is destroyed during the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day in Tsavo West National Park, 380 km (236 miles) east of capital Nairobi July 20, 2011.  REUTERS/Noor Khamis </p>

An illegal consignment of five tonnes of Ivory confiscated from smugglers is destroyed during the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day in Tsavo West National Park, 380 km (236 miles) east of capital Nairobi July 20, 2011. REUTERS/Noor Khamis more

An illegal consignment of five tonnes of Ivory confiscated from smugglers is destroyed during the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day in Tsavo West National Park, 380 km (236 miles) east of capital Nairobi July 20, 2011. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

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<p>The carcass of a rhino is seen after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province, South Africa September 14, 2011.  REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev </p>

The carcass of a rhino is seen after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province, South Africa September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

The carcass of a rhino is seen after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province, South Africa September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Ilya Kachaev

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<p>A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger shows elephant tusks intercepted from poachers during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park July 18, 2009.  REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya </p>

A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger shows elephant tusks intercepted from poachers during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park July 18, 2009. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger shows elephant tusks intercepted from poachers during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park July 18, 2009. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

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<p>A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger guards a shipment of elephant tusks during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park July 18, 2009.  REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya </p>

A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger guards a shipment of elephant tusks during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park July 18, 2009. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger guards a shipment of elephant tusks during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park July 18, 2009. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

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<p>Pieces of ivory and animal skins are displayed during a news conference at the Kenya Wildlife Services headquarters in Nairobi November 17, 2008.  REUTERS/Antony Njuguna </p>

Pieces of ivory and animal skins are displayed during a news conference at the Kenya Wildlife Services headquarters in Nairobi November 17, 2008. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

Pieces of ivory and animal skins are displayed during a news conference at the Kenya Wildlife Services headquarters in Nairobi November 17, 2008. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

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<p>Activists gather as they take part in a protest against Rhinoceros poaching outside the Chinese embassy in Pretoria, South Africa March 29, 2012. Four staff members at South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park have been arrested on suspicion of killing rhinos and selling their horns to criminal syndicates, the park service said on Wednesday.    REUTERS/Stringer </p>

Activists gather as they take part in a protest against Rhinoceros poaching outside the Chinese embassy in Pretoria, South Africa March 29, 2012. Four staff members at South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park have been arrested on suspicion of...more

Activists gather as they take part in a protest against Rhinoceros poaching outside the Chinese embassy in Pretoria, South Africa March 29, 2012. Four staff members at South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park have been arrested on suspicion of killing rhinos and selling their horns to criminal syndicates, the park service said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>Policeman look on as a protester carries a placard calling for an end to rhino poaching, which threatens the survival of rhino species, outside the Chinese embassy in Pretoria September 22, 2011.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko </p>

Policeman look on as a protester carries a placard calling for an end to rhino poaching, which threatens the survival of rhino species, outside the Chinese embassy in Pretoria September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Policeman look on as a protester carries a placard calling for an end to rhino poaching, which threatens the survival of rhino species, outside the Chinese embassy in Pretoria September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

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<p>A bullet riddled sign marks the entrance to Virunga National Park, occupied by rebels and other armed militias during years of conflict near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010. Congo's army and park rangers are conducting joint operations to secure large swathes of Virunga Park, formerly named Albert National Park, which has for more than  decade been home to various armed groups who rely on poaching and banditry to survive while using the park's wild terrain to hide during Congo's civil conflict. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly </p>

A bullet riddled sign marks the entrance to Virunga National Park, occupied by rebels and other armed militias during years of conflict near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010. Congo's army and park rangers are conducting joint operations to...more

A bullet riddled sign marks the entrance to Virunga National Park, occupied by rebels and other armed militias during years of conflict near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010. Congo's army and park rangers are conducting joint operations to secure large swathes of Virunga Park, formerly named Albert National Park, which has for more than decade been home to various armed groups who rely on poaching and banditry to survive while using the park's wild terrain to hide during Congo's civil conflict. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>A Congolese soldier and guard for Virunga National Park is silhouetted by the glow from a lava lake boiling in the crater of Nyiragongo volcano near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010.  REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly </p>

A Congolese soldier and guard for Virunga National Park is silhouetted by the glow from a lava lake boiling in the crater of Nyiragongo volcano near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A Congolese soldier and guard for Virunga National Park is silhouetted by the glow from a lava lake boiling in the crater of Nyiragongo volcano near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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