Poachers Kill Vietnam's Last Rhino
Javan rhino moves closer to extinction
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 2:50 AM CDT
In this May 8, 2010 photo released by WWF, a bullet is seen in a leg of the last rhino in Vietnam at Cat Tien National Park in Lam Dong Province, southern Vietnam.   (AP Photo/WWF)
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(Newser) – And then there were none. The World Wildlife Fund says poachers have killed Vietnam's last Javan rhinoceros, reports the AP. There were at least two rhinos in a national park in Vietnam as of 2004, the WWF says, and for the last few years they knew of one, but in April a poacher killed it—it was found shot in the leg with its horn cut off—and since then there have been no signs of any live rhinos—no sightings, no footprints, no spoor.

"It appears that protection is not being given a high priority by the Vietnamese government," a WWF spokesman says. But the park director said it is impossible to stop all 100,000 people living close to the park from poaching, especially considering the average Vietnamese farmer makes around $7.50 a day, and rhino horns can fetch as much as $50,000 per pound. "We're not trying to avoid our responsibility in the death of the rhinos, but we've done our best to protect them," said the director. The Javan rhino is now extinct in mainland Asia. A few dozen survive in the wild in Indonesia, and there are none in captivity.