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Rhinos--DRAFT

Associated Press
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)

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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.

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