Seattle-based biotechnology startup that hopes to grow rhino horns in a laboratory says it has already produced a batch of rhino horn powder.
The first batch of powder was primarily protein-based and didn’t have any genetic components of a rhino, said Matthew Markus, a biologist and CEO of Pembient.
He took some of the chalky, greyish powder to Vietnam, a major consumer of rhino horns and its products, to see how regular users react to it. “I wanted to see whether or not (the powder) matched with what they were using for smell and texture … people were generally receptive.”...
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Hmm! Could this be the long term solution to save the rhino from poachers? Moving on to elephants and even lions?
Would put a real damper on those who'd like to see the trading of rhino horn legalized.... not to mention lion breeders/canned hunting industry who sell lion bones!
Mozambique filed charges against a pair of international journalists in connection with an investigation into the poaching of rhinoceroses.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Batholomaeus Grill, a correspondent for the German weekly Der Spiegel, and Torbjoern Selander, a Swedish freelance photographer, were apprehended while reporting in the village of Mavodze on Feb. 16. Villagers accused to two of being spies, taking them to a police station where they were held for hours...
Bangkok - Front-line transport workers largely lack awareness on how criminal networks disguise illegal wildlife products, it emerged at a summit in Bangkok. Customs officials and wildlife trade experts say that educating freight forwarders and handlers of air, ship and land cargoes could
South Africa said that it had moved around 100 rhinos to unspecified neighbouring states as part of efforts to stem the illicit slaughter of the animals for their horns. Home to around 80 per cent of the global rhino population, South Africa is at the epicentre of a poaching crisis. Government...
The Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) has launched an internal investigation after the Board was presented with a letter mid-December outlining possible collusion between some staff members and poachers who have killed at least 17 critically endangered Kunene black rhinos since late 2012. The crisis at the SRT is, however, just part of a larger one in anti-poaching law enforcement and natural resource management in the so-called ‘Big Three’ communal conservancies - Palmwag, Abenab and Sesfontein - in Namibia's southern Kunene. By JOHN GROBLER.
How governments combat poaching as the nature of the crime changes.
A South African rhinoceros, once dead, can travel thousands of miles. Under some circumstances, its horn can trek to places as far away as Vietnam and China. Once there, it transforms into a product for spiritual medicine or a sign of wealth and class. Meanwhile, the rest of its body stays rotting in the grass, and its species inches closer to extinction.
In 2014, poachers killed a record number of the beasts for their horns, according to official numbers published by the South African government’s Department of Environmental Affairs. The number of rhinoceroses that were killed is triple that of four years ago, and the value of their horns by weight is now greater than that of gold. The complex spiritual roots of this illegal market make it difficult to pinpoint the source or perpetuating causes of it; thus, effective solutions increasingly require strong regulations and governmental commitment....
Harare - Poachers in Zimbabwe are targeting small rhino for their horns, a ranger said on Monday.
Two rhino calves were among the five black rhino killed by poachers in the south of the wildlife conservation region Save Valley Conservancy last year, Bryce Clemence of Anti-Poaching and Tracking Specialists (ATS) told Sapa....
Although most Americans will never encounter a wild rhino in their lifetimes, the United States has recognized the global threat posed by poaching, the profits of which have been shown to support criminal networks and militant groups throughout Africa. A year ago, the Obama administration announced a "National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking."
The strategy is laudable. It calls for a three-part approach: enhanced enforcement of anti-poaching laws, better international collaboration on the issue and efforts to reduce demand for wildlife products like rhino horn. Unfortunately, this month when the administration announced its implementation plan for the strategy, it undermined its own goals.
The implementation plan calls for the U.S. to devote hundreds of millions of dollars to policing wildlife poaching and trafficking, but it provides virtually no funds for reducing demand, not even in the United States, which has been assessed by some as the world's second-largest market for illegal wildlife products.
I'm an economist by training, and I can tell you, if common sense doesn't, that trying to restrict supply without restricting demand is likely only to drive up price. That's how we have spent trillions on drug enforcement with little to show for it....
Chances are a poor farmer in Africa does not care what we Americans think; his next meal is more important to him than racking his brain for an answer to a question of humanity. He needs sustenance, but more than that he needs an incentive. Tourism needs to somehow have a positive impact on his livelihood if we want the rhino to stay alive, if we want to stabilize the wealth of all these impoverished African nations.
Even two-tonne, spike-horned, armor-skinned rhinos need a helping hand sometimes.
Fortunately, they can rely on one committed defender: eight-year-old Alyssa Carter.
"When I heard that rhinos were being killed, they were my favorite animals and I wanted to start this," says the elementary school pupil. Her campaign, Alyssa's Save the Rhinos, has raised thousands of dollars to protect her favorite animal -- South Africa's poacher-threatened rhinoceros -- and fund an innovative scheme aimed at tracking the hunters who would do them harm....
Two suspected rhino horn smugglers were arrested inside the Kruger National Park on Tuesday morning, the Hawks said. "[The Hawks] have arrested two suspects allegedly involved in the transportation of stolen vehicles across [the park], smuggling of rhino horns and explosives," said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi. A large sum of money was seized from the men, aged 36 and 39, who were thought to be part of a syndicate. Both men were out on bail for crimes in Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. They would appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. -Sapa
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