In 1976 trading in rhino horn was banned under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which 175 countries are signatories, including South Africa and many others involved in illegal trading. But the trade simply moved to the black market.

Since then, thanks to various conservation efforts and improved security measures, the black rhino population has increased from 2 500 to about 5 000 and white rhinos from 7 000 to about 20 000, concentrated in a few countries in Southern Africa.

In 2007, South Africa only lost 13 rhino to poaching. This number increased to 83 in 2008, 122 in 2009 and 2010 to 333. In 2011 we lost 448 rhino and in 2012 it was 668. 2014 was the worst at 1 215 rhino killed in South Africa.

At the current poaching rate, 2016 might still see more rhinos killed than are born, and if this trend continues then it is possible that by 2025 all rhino in the wild could be extinct.