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Why are they Poaching Rhino's?

Updated on October 4, 2014

Why Are the Poachers Getting away with it?

In South Africa, Rhino poaching has become an epidemic since 2008. Over 2000 Rhino's have been lost and the rate rises every day.

Although there are people helping to stop the poaching by having border patrols and people who risk their lives every day, they do not know where the poachers are going to come from and the gangs are armed and dangerous, ready to kill for the Rhino horn.

There are currently 5055 black Rhino's and 20405 white Rhino's and they will decrease and become extinct in the next two years if we cannot stop the well - funded crime syndicates from killing these animals for medicinal use in places such as Vietnam and China.

Many organisations have joined together to protect the Rhino's but the poaching continues as they find so many different ways to attack the Rhino's and the people protecting them.

Poachers are paid highly for the removal of rhino horns and they get through borders, airports and even ships by paying off officials or smuggling it in.

The syndicates have so much wealth and are determined to profit from the rhino horn, making millions out of the pharmaceutical products that they have invented, therefore, they will pay whatever they have to in order to get their product sold.

The gangs work throughout the world and are prepared to use force if necessary as they are protected by the wealthy syndicates.

The game rangers cannot track where the poachers will be and although most of the parks are fenced and protected, the vast amount of open space is very difficult to monitor constantly.

They do have trackers on the rhino's but not enough time to get to save them from poachers from across acres and acres of land.

There are also other wild animals in the park that conservationists and game rangers have to face whilst going through the parks.

Poaching gangs have night vision equipment, mercenaries that can track the wildlife and very expensive and efficient equipment.

Blades, hacking and chainsaws have been used on thr rhino whilst they are still breathing, just to remove the horns.

Rhino poaching in the Cape
Rhino poaching in the Cape

Why are they Poaching Rhino's?

The crime syndicates are poaching Rhino's for their horns for GREED.

They have taken myths from ancient times to market products to people that are desperate for a cure for diseases, in order to make money and profit off the weak.

In the East Asia, powdered rhino horn is used for an all purpose health tonic, hangover cures, aphrodisiac and they even believe it is a cure for cancer.

The Chinese have used rhino horn for the past 2000 years and they used it for hallucinations, typhoid and boils.

Western media spread the word and even the Vietnamese have been using the horn.

Chinese specialists have stated that there is no official proof that traditional medicine, using rhino horn had a cure for cancer.

Scientists and clinical research has proven that rhino horn has no effect on humans and is not a cure for cancer.

The use of rhino horn for medicinal purposes was a marketing ploy to increase sales to desperate and sick people.

Asians could not accept the scientific findings and believe that rhino horn has a cure for many ailments but if they were to listen to the researches then rhino horn sales would go down.

A 16th Century Chinese pharmacist believed that rhino horn could cure snakebites, vommiting, typhoid, headaches and food poisoning. He also believed that it could help with removing evil spirits from people who were possessed by the devil.

Many cultures have used rhino horn as d├ęcor and have coloured the horns in order to sell them as souvenirs.

Some even used them for weapons and in Ancient mythology it was said to purify water.

The Persians believed that it could detect poisonous liquids and even in the 18th and 19th century, the Royal courts of Europe used it for this purpose.

A rhino and her baby
A rhino and her baby

What Does Rhino Horn Consist of?

Rhino horn is made up of agglutinated hair, like fingernails.

It is composed of keratin and the centre of the horn has mineral deposits of calcium and melanin, almost structured like horses hooves and turtle beaks.

The keratin composition varies, depending on the diet and location of the rhino.

Scientific Truth about Rhino Horn

Scientists have proven that there is a small property in rhino horn, mixed with traditional Chinese herbs, that could take away a fever in a small child, but it is the equivalent to having a small dose of dispirin.

In most cases scientists have said that it would be the same as chewing your own fingernails as there is no effect from rhino horn, powdered or otherwise.

The claims from pharmaceutical companies and syndicates, with the media hype are all false and rhino horn has been proven to have absolutely no healing properties of any kind in it.

It does not cure cancer, it does not help as an aphrodisiac and cannot cure any given aillments.

A rhino in the Kruger National Park, South Africa
A rhino in the Kruger National Park, South Africa

Do you think it is ethical to use poison on buyer in order to save the rhino?

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What Conservationists are Doing

Conservationists, game rangers and wildlife veterinarians in South Africa have come up with a way to protect the rhino's once and for all.

A conservation agency has come up with a chemical coctail which they inject into the rhino's horns in an effort to contaminate the black market product.

The poison is not meant to kill people who consume the horns but it has been made to be extremely toxic and poisonous enough to make the users seriously ill.

Symptoms include nerve disorders, nausea and other related health problems .

The horns will now contain a bright red dye which can be detected by airport xrays, even if it has been crushed into a powder.

This is a warning to the syndicates that their rhino horn cures are now deadly poisonous, which will cause terrible effects on the people that buy it.

The rhino's are not effected by the poison in their horns and the costs of the poison is sponsored by the Stellenbosch - based Peace Parks Foundation, which was set up under the patronage of Nelson Mandela and international conservation donors.

The Rhino's are being tortured!

In pools of blood, lie the tortured rhino's who have been lying helplessly awake and breathing, whilst the poachers have used chainsaws and blunt knives to cut the horns off of their faces.

Their suffering and near extinction is unecessary as their horns have been proven to be of no medicinal value.

The footage in these clips is very graffic and not meant for children.


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    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you! They are amazing creatures and it is very sad to know they are being killed for nothing.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      This breaks my heart. These amazing creatures will leave the planet for ever if it is not stopped. Angels are on the way to you and to all who are making efforts to protect these creatures. ps

    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Oh I must read it! I am shocked and so sad as they are such wonderous animals but hopefully the poison works and stops the poachers soon enough to protect the animals. Sadly, there will always be something else for them to destroy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I wrote about this topic about six months ago. In this world we live in, as long as someone is willing to pay for it, someone will be willing to break the law to get it. The rhinos are in serious trouble, and if they should all die off, a part of us will die as well.


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