In high demand for traditional medicine, donkey skins have become a hot commodity on the black market, by Kimon de Greef

In an animal rescue career spanning 27 years, it was the worst case South African SPCA inspector Reinet Meyer had ever encountered.

Corralled on a smallholding outside Bloemfontein, a city in South Africa’s arid interior, 70 donkeys nosed through trash piles for food or flopped in the dirt, too debilitated to stand. According to a farmhand guarding the property, they’d gone a week without sustenance—his boss, the man said, cared only about their skins and hadn’t even given them water. Ten of the animals had already died.

This story was first published by the Africa-China Reporting Project, a Wits Journalism project. Please click on the following link to read the full article: Rush for donkey skins in China draws wildlife traffickers