34kg of rhino horns seized at Noi Bai airport hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Competent agencies on October 12 seized nearly 34kg of rhino horns at Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport. 

The amount of rhino horns was shipped by a sender in South Africa on a Qatar Airways flight to an individual in Hanoi’s outskirts district of Soc Son, and arrived at the airport on October 4.  

On September 2, customs officers of the airport also found nearly one tonne of elephant tusks, ivory products and pangolin scales transported from Nigeria. 

The products were hidden in 24 boxes sent by two companies based in Nigeria to two companies in Hanoi’s outskirt district of Soc Son through Turkish Airlines on September 21. 

There are only 25,000 wild rhinos in the world at present, with the population dropping by 95 percent over the last four decades. South Africa is home to some 20,000 rhinos, or 80 percent of the total.

Poaching is attributed to rising demand for rhino horns in some Asian countries, including Vietnam, since many people in these nations believe that rhino horns can cure illness, a claim not corroborated by science.

Conservationists have warned that rhinos will become extinct within the next 10 years if poaching is not stopped. The last Java rhino in Vietnam was killed at Cat Tien National Park in 2010.-VNA