Rhino deaths due to record-setting poaching cases this year have led experts to warn of a looming "tipping point," at which rhino deaths will outstrip the number of rhino births, according to the International Rhino Foundation's annual State of the Rhino report released on Friday.
South Africa is the epicenter of the crisis, with a record 827 black and white rhinos killed so far this year, already far surpassing last year's record of 668, said the International Rhino Foundation.
"These poaching levels threaten to wipe out decades of conservation progress, and it is imperative that we take action now," said IRF executive director Susie Ellis.
But all is not lost for the rhino, conservationists say. ""Despite the crisis, there is hope for rhinos," Ellis said. "We believe that the situation can be turned around. The sticking point is whether rhino countries like South Africa and consumer countries like Vietnam and China will enforce their laws and whether countries like Indonesia will take the bold actions needed to save Sumatran and Javan rhinos."