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One of the world's seven remaining rare rhinos dies

One of the world's seven remaining northern white rhinos has died in Kenya, bringing the famed African species one step closer to extinction, a wildlife conservancy said.

Suni, a male Northern White Rhinoceros, has died in Kenya. Credit: Reuters

While there are thousands of southern white rhinos still roaming the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching have drastically cut northern white rhino numbers.

Suni, a 34-year-old who was the first northern white rhino to be born in captivity, was found dead by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, about 250 km (155 miles) north of Nairobi.

The conservancy said Suni was not poached, but the cause of his death was unclear. It added that he was one of the last two breeding males in the world as no northern white rhinos are believed to have survived in the wild.

"Consequently the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race," the conservancy said in a statement.

Rhino poaching rises by 50% in South Africa

More than 1,000 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa last year. Credit: ITV News

More than 1,000 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa last year, a 50 per cent increase on the previous year, according to official figures.

The South African Department of Environmental Affairs said 1,004 rhinos were poached in 2013 - compared to 668 killed for their horn in 2012.

South African officials also revealed that there was a rise in the number of rhino poachers arrested during 2013. Last year, 343 alleged poachers were arrested, up from 267 in 2012. There have been six arrests so far this year.

Conservation experts have warned that the rise in poaching, to meet demand for rhino horn in China and Vietnam in particular, brings South Africa's white rhino population closer to the "tipping point" where deaths will outnumber births and the population will go into serious decline.

Precious rhino heads stolen from Irish museum

One of the four rhino heads stolen from a storage facility in Dublin Credit: National Museum of Ireland/PA Wire

Four rhinoceros heads with eight horns worth almost half a million pounds have been stolen from museum storage in Ireland.

Three masked men broke into a facility in Swords, north Dublin late last night and tied up a security man before committing the robbery.

The eight horns could have a street value of £428 million Credit: National Museum of Ireland/PA Wire

The heads had been taken off public display more than a year ago and put into storage after a spate of similar thefts from museums and private collections in Europe.

"The horns have probably been taken to supply the illegal trade in powdered horn that is used in traditional medicines in the Far East," a spokesman for the museum said.

"The total amount stolen could have a street value in the region of 500,000 euro (£428,000)."

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