Trading Rhino Horns for Guns: Is Zimbabwe Poaching Linked to Chinese Weapons Acquisition?

Now that Zimbabwe security forces stand accused by CITES of involvement in the country’s wildlife poaching crisis, there is speculation that this corruption extends to a “rhino horn for weapons” deal with China.

If the Zimbabwean government’s deal to acquire Chinese weapons includes access to rhino horn, it would certainly help explain the country’s loss of a quarter of its rhino population and abysmal conviction rate for rhino poaching.

Rhino horns on the market in China

Confiscated rhino horns from the black market.

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