South Africa Sentences Trio to 25 Years for Rhino Poaching

Posted February 1st, 2012 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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South African officials say a court has sentenced three people to 25 years in prison for rhinoceros poaching and possession of illegal firearms.

Wildlife authorities say the punishment is the harshest to date for the illegal killing of a rhino.

The poachers were sentenced by a court in Phalaborwa, near Kruger National Park, which borders Mozambique.

The endangered animal is often hunted for its prized horns, which are sold in the Asian black market for more than the prize of gold.

The South African government has vowed to curb rhino poaching, which reached a record high last year, when nearly 450 rhinos were illegally killed.

South Africa is home almost three-quarters of the world's rhino population.