Shocking images have emerged of an unborn rhino calf who died after its mother and sibling were brutally killed by poachers in South Africa.
The pregnant rhino had been mooching around Pilanesberg National Park in Mogwase , a north-western region of the country, just moments before they were gunned down for their horns.
Disturbing photos reveal just how far-gone the animal is with the calf.
Despite killing the animals, the poachers didn’t get what they want – park rangers scared them off before they could do away with the prized horns.
Staff attempted to save the calf but it died inside its mother’s womb.
The park wrote on their Facebook page:
There are no words. Mom and calf shot and killed by poachers. Horns are still on as the murderers fled the scene when they heard a game of drive approach.
Mom looks very pregnant as well. We are devastated.
They added, a reward would be available for any information which could help arrest the poachers.
A spokesperson told MailOnline the calf was due in February 2018.
Pilanesberg: Sadly we have lost 2 more Rhino this morning. ?? pregnant mom and calf. Horns are still on as the poachers were interrupted. We are heartbroken. These are brazen murderers. And there is a reward for any information leading to an arrest and or prosecution. ?
Posted by Perry Steve Dell on Thursday, 2 November 2017
We have lost 16 rhino and 3 unborn calves so far in 2017 that we are aware of.
This loss is not due to lack of inteest or effort from Park management, as this is a large park with many valleys and hills, which is a difficult territory to operate in.
Over 6,000 rhinos have been shot dead for their horns in the last decade, in South Africa alone.
Earlier this year, it was revealed the island of Sumatra, where elephants, tigers, rhinos and orngutans live together, could be destroyed.
It’s the last place on Earth where they live side by side, according to The Independent.
Sumatra is the largest island entirely situated in Indonesia and is known for its outlandish rugged beauty and importance on a global scale.
However, it might be about to change, as the Leuser ecosystem on the island, is being destroyed by giant corporations.
Dr Ian Singleton said:
If the Amazon rainforests are the lungs of the Earth, the Leuser is its heart – beating with vitality for us all. [Industry] is eating away at every corner of the ecosystem.
From its pristine tropical beaches to its rugged high mountaintops, the Leuser ecosystem pulses with life.
It is the last place on Earth where Southeast Asia’s most iconic species – orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants – still live side by side in the wild.
To step into Leuser’s steamy rainforests is to experience a serenade of biodiversity, a cacophony of buzzing insects, singing birds, croaking frogs, and loud-calling primates. But Leuser’s forests face a growing threat. Despite being protected by Indonesian law, the ecosystem is under siege for short-term profits.
Corporate interests such as industrial pulp and palm oil plantations, mining and logging operations, energy projects, and all the roads and infrastructure that get built to support them, are eating away at every corner of the ecosystem.
As the last remaining intact lowland forests and peat lands are being cleared, drained burned and carved up into smaller fragments, all of the region’s threatened and endangered species, many of them endemic and found nowhere else in the world, are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction.
With fewer and fewer animals in the wild, Singleton added the Sumatran orangutan could ‘easily become the first great ape species to go extinct’ and the Sumatran tigers and rhino could soon follow.