Vietnam pop stars sing to start anti-poaching campaign


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Vietnamese pop singer Thu Minh shows a shirt with slogans promoting a campaign against rhino poaching.

Vietnamese pop stars Thu Minh and Thanh Bui sang at the Shamwari game reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province on April 14 to promote the start of a campaign against rhino poaching.
“We managed to create some excellent marketing collateral we’ll be using in collaboration with our partners in our demand-reduction campaigns in Vietnam,” Cheryl Reynolds, marketing manager of the Port Elizabeth, South Africa-based Wilderness Foundation, said by phone today.
Broadcasts and billboards will aim to dissuade Vietnamese consumers from buying rhino horn, according to the foundation. Poached rhino horn is shipped to Vietnam and China, where it can sell for as much as $95,000 per kilogram and buyers believe it can heal ailments and improve one’s libido.
The number of South African rhinos poached for their horn, which is worth more than gold, rose to a record 1,004 last year, according to the country’s Department of Environmental Affairs. Most of the animals were killed in the eastern Kruger National Park, where poachers slip across the 350-kilometer (217-mile) border with Mozambique.
South Africa and Vietnam have been collaborating to fight rhino poaching since 2011 and signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 to curb illegal trade in horns. Smuggling of endangered species and their products mainly from sub-Saharan Africa by international organized crime rings and armed groups is worth as much as $10 billion a year, Chatham House said in February.
White and black rhinos were brought back from the brink of extinction in South Africa in the 1960s to a population of close to 20,000, about 90 percent of the global total.

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