When people think of Africa, they often picture lions and elephants roaming freely over huge grasslands. Although the continent is indeed home to many species of exotic animals, decades of logging, sport hunting, poaching, civil wars, pollution, and other human interference have taken their toll on the wildlife. African and foreign countries looking for oil, diamonds, and other resources have destroyed both animals and their habitats.

Africa had 70,000 black rhinos in the 1970s, and ended up with about 3,000 in the 1980s. Their near extinction illustrates the danger to African fauna that exists. Many African governments have made an attempt to conserve the natural flora and fauna, or plants and animals, of their grasslands and forests. Some countries, concerned for tourism, the environment, and the extinction of animals, have set aside large pieces of land as protected wildlife parks.

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