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Rare white rhino killed by poachers in Kenyan national park

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A rare white rhino has been shot dead by poachers in one of Kenya's most secure parks, close to Nairobi, wildlife officials say.

It was the first such killing in six years in Nairobi's National Park, described by the Kenyan Wildlife Service as "the only protected area in the world close to a capital city," the BBC reported Tuesday.

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Poachers killed the rhino for its horn, wildlife service spokesman Paul Udoto said.

Most horns from poached rhinos end up in the traditional medicine markets of Southeast Asia where it is believed to provide powerful healing properties despite any lack of scientific evidence of such properties, officials said.

Rhino horns are composed of keratin, the same substance found in human fingernails.

Africa has seen an increase in poaching of both rhinos and elephants in recent years; 35 rhinos have been killed in Kenya so far this year, Udoto said, compared to a total of 29 in 2012.

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