A top U.S. official on Friday stood close to the carcass of a rhino that had been killed by poachers in South Africa, describing the scene as "terribly sad" and denouncing the slaughter of the threatened species.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell traveled to Kruger National Park, South Africa's biggest wildlife reserve and scene of some of the heaviest killing of rhinos, covered in some parts of Asia, particularly Vietnam, for their horns.

Park rangers escorted Jewell on a drive through the bush to see the body of the male rhino, estimated to be about 15 years old.

It lay on the edge of a dry stream bed.

The horns had been hacked off.