Poachers in South Africa have killed a rare black rhino that had gained international fame as it looked like it was blowing kisses while being pictured. Wozani, which means "come on everyone" in Zulu, had his horn, ears, tail and feet cut off after being shot dead at the Olifants River reserve, in Limpopo province.
It is believed the animal was killed while it was looking for its pregnant mate Busa, who had been shot dead by poachers in the same area in February, The Times reported.
The black rhino is a critically endangered species. There are fewer than 5,000 black rhinos, found only in five African countries – South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Scientists are warning that protecting genetically distinct populations should be a priority for conservationists amid fears the number of rhinos killed could exceed the number being born.
Rhinos are usually killed for their horns, which are mainly illegally traded with Vietnam and China for use in traditional medicine.
South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in Africa. Although the rhino horn trade is illegal, poaching is still widespread in the country due to high demand for the product from Asia.
In 2012, Vietnam and South Africa signed a deal aimed at cracking down on the illegal trading of horns. The deal came as Traffic, a wildlife trade-monitoring group, identified Vietnam as the main destination for illegal rhino horn.
Last year, a South African minister was accused of being allegedly involved in rhino horn trade by an Al Jazeera documentary. State Security Minister David Mahlobo, who denies the allegations, was alleged to have close connections with a suspected rhino horn trafficker.