Rhinos and their horns


I wanted to talk about something that is close to my heart. I wanted to talk about rhinos and the ridiculous and cruel rhino horn trade. 

Let’s be clear about something. 

Rhino horns are similar in structure to horses’ hooves, turtle beaks, and cockatoo bills. They are made of keratin – basically the same stuff that’s in your hair and fingernails. Yet, despite their being no empirical evidence to suggest otherwise, certain cultures, such as is in China with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is regarded as something of a magical elixir. But the reality is that it is no better for you than chewing on your fingernails. 


 There are also those that just find it looks nice on the mantlepiece.

But what are the facts?

There are five species of rhinoceros and, with the exception of one subspecies of African white rhino, all are in danger of being hunted to extinction for their horns. Furthermore,  the scarcity of rhinos today and the corresponding intermittent availability of rhino horn only drives the price higher, and intensifies the pressure on the declining rhino populations. For people whose annual income is often far below the subsistence level, the opportunity to change one’s life by killing an animal that they don’t value is overwhelming.
Poachers will directly respond to demand. And now they are now being supplied by international criminal gangs with sophisticated equipment to track and kill rhinos. Often they use a tranquiliser gun to bring the rhino down and hack of its horn leaving the rhino to wake up and bleed to death very painfully and slowly. Let me reiterate. These poachers cause these beautiful animals to die PAINFULLY AND SLOWLY. Poachers are also often armed with guns making them very dangerous for the anti-poaching teams who put their lives on the line to protect rhinos.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m scared that one day, if I ever have kids (which I would willingly but you know – I kinda need a wife for that), I will have to tell them about rhinos through a picture book because they will no longer be around to see. And for what? It’s tragic that these amazing creatures are dying over a myth that the rhino horn has some therapeutic benefit. And if you have any doubts about how cruel this trade is, a google image search will highlight the cruel reality. 

So what can you do?

A good place to start is Save the Rhino (https://www.savetherhino.org/) which is an organisation that looks to act before it is too late. You should also report any suspicious activity to the authorities, if you suspect someone is selling/buying rhino horn products.  

Do what you can!

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10 thoughts on “Rhinos and their horns

  1. Stick with David the magical entertainer and you’ll be able to that too Laura 🙃

    On a serious note, whilst I’m not what you’d call a natural animal lover (as in I love animals but I’m not very good with them!) I find what mankind does to them for fun (hunting), money/health/beauty is heartbreakingly sickening.
    Sharing and reblogging this David.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Urge, I know. I have seen videos where the poachers have sawn off their horn why they are alive and it’s horrible. All for some fantasy miracle cure in Vietnam or an ornamental handle. It’s so sad. I fear we will lose so many of our wonderful species due to negligence. It’s very sad. I want to be able to tell my kids about rhinos and elephants without directing them to pictures of what they once looked like.

      Liked by 1 person

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