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Last Updated: Friday March 25 2011 15:00 GMT

African rhinos face poaching crisis

White rhinoceroses in Africa

Africa's rhinos are facing their worst poaching crisis in decades, according to an international group of experts.

Organised gangs have killed more than 800 in the past three years, so they can sell their horns.

Poachers use helicopters, night-vision goggles and high-powered rifles to hunt and kill rhinos, and wildlife officials are struggling to stop them.

Horns can sell for thousands of pounds to people in China and Asia who think they can be used as medicine.

Conservation has helped Africa's two species of rhino to slightly increase in number over the past five years.

But The International Union for Conservation of Nature say they are really worried because poaching is on the rise.

At the last count there were 4,840 black rhinos and 20,150 white rhinos in Africa.