Today, 22nd September 2014 is World Rhino Day, a day when we should be celebrating “5 Rhino Species Forever”, but with the latest reports showing that at least 736 rhino have already been poached in South Africa this year (that’s 3 per day!), can we really hope that the Rhino will be around for our children and grandchildren to see?
1,004 rhinos we killed in South Africa in 2013. That number seems unreal, but the sad fact is, the demand for rhino horn is growing across China and Vietnam, not decreasing, and if we are unable to re-educate an entire population before 2019 – the rhino will be nothing more than a memory for those of us lucky enough to have seen them in the wild.
Why, well many people in East Asia believe that rhino horn has medicinal properties, despite the fact that it is made from keratin, the same protein that makes up our own fingernails and hair, and in Vietnam, there has been a recent surge in the demand for rhino horn as unscrupulous and ignorant individuals sell it as a HANGOVER cure!
“World Rhino Day is an opportunity to highlight efforts to debunk the myths and diminish the demand for rhino horn,” the event organisers said, so I’ll take this as my opportunity to say RHINO HORN IS NOT MEDICINE!
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Sad reality. And the conservation efforts have more than doubled but it seems the intent to poach has increased even more. It might be time SA re-evaluated how to best curb this. We might be needing strategists and consultants of all sorts, not just security.
I agree Mpho, something needs to be done – but what? The demand for Rhino horn in Asia is growing, not decreasing, and as long as there is a demand (and corruption), the Rhino has no chance…