Poachers are violently butchering rhinos faster than they're being born -- in fact, illegal rhinoceros poaching in Africa jumped by a staggering 9,000 percent in the past seven years. With their numbers dwindling rapidly, the species stands to go extinct by 2024 unless something is done to stop the senseless slaughter.

Poachers kill rhinos in sickeningly gruesome ways. First, they weaken their target by attacking with guns or drugs. They then brutally hack off the horn, taking the underlying bone with it and leaving the suffering animal with shredded muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The helpless rhino then slowly and painfully bleeds to death.

Much of the killing happens in South Africa and Kenya -- but poaching is on the rise in Zimbabwe and Namibia, too. On average, three rhinos are killed per day, amounting to about 100 per month.

Rhino horn is primarily sold on the black market for its supposed healing properties, despite having no medicinal value. It also serves as a status symbol for the rich. All uses for rhino horn are frivolous and unnecessary, and no excuse for this destruction and pain.

We must take a firm stand to stop the bloodshed. Sign this petition to urge the ambassadors of South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia to make every effort to save the rhinos from ruthless poachers and stop this amazing species from going extinct.

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