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Dallas Zoo employee saving White Rhinos in Africa

DALLAS -- The sad truth is, every year rhinos are getting closer and closer to extinction.

“Right now, they are one of the most endangered animals in the world, and they are the most sought after animal in the world for their horn," said Lydia Jennings with the Dallas Zoo

Poachers seek out the rhino horn and sell it on the black market.

“I knew they weren't doing well in the wild but I had no idea the realities they were facing," she said. "It;s hard to understand it until you’re really there experiencing it first hand.”

Lydia Jennings works in media relations with the Dallas Zoo, and through the zoo, she was offered an opportunity to study white rhinos in Africa with the group Earthwatch Institute.

There she saw the dangers the rhinos face and she documented her experiences.

“One day when we were studying at the neighboring national park called Pilanesberg, a rhino with a full term calf was poached,” Jennings said. “We saw the chopper in the air. We knew something was going on/ We didn’t learn until the next day that poachers had attacked one of their rhino.”

For animal preserves to keep poachers off their land, they try to safely remove the white rhino’s sought-after horn and keep the poachers from slaughtering the animals.

“I am beyond grateful to the Dallas Zoo, who selected me to go on this expedition and study these animals and tell my story. Because what good is it if I don't tell my story.”