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What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
So many stories! Here's a quick look at the good, bad, ugly and encouraging RHINO NEWS
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Rhinos in Crisis - and Why the Market Won't Save Them

Rhinos in Crisis - and Why the Market Won't Save Them | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

"...despite the pro-trade hype, none of these trade mechanisms has succeeded in protecting endangered species..."

 

Some private rhino owners are calling for the international trade ban... to be lifted so that the stockpiles of horn from rhinos who have died or been dehorned can be sold off....

 

The idea that legalising trade in an endangered species can help to reduce poaching and protect the animals isn't new, and it can sound persuasive until you examine the evidence.


For example, bears have been "farmed" for decades for their bile in parts of Asia. As many as 10,000 currently exist in appalling conditions on Asian bear bile farms. However, this hasn't stopped bear farmers capturing wild bears to replenish stocks, nor has it reduced demand for the bile and gall bladders from wild bears as far afield as North America.

 

"Wild" bile products are considered 'cleaner' and more potent than their farmed equivalent.

 

On the ivory front, CITES has sanctioned two 'one-off sales' of ivory from southern African stockpiles to China and Japan in recent years on the assumption that it will help control or reduce elephant poaching, but it hasn't worked. Seizures of illegal ivory have risen markedly since the last legal 'one-off sale' took place in 2008, with at least 30 tonnes seized in 2011 alone, representing around 3,000 dead elephants. This is probably only 10% to 20% of the total illegal trade. Elephant massacres continue, with hundreds killed in parts of Central and West Africa earlier this year, threatening the survival of whole elephant populations.

 

Tigers have fared no better. China has a scheme for registering, labelling and selling the skins from tigers who have died on tiger farms. In spite of a domestic and international ban on the trade in tiger parts, particularly bones, China still allows tiger farmers to breed tigers and store the carcases of those who have died. Meanwhile, wild tigers remain on the brink of extinction with as few as 3,000 remaining in the wild whilst three times that number are estimated to be languishing on Chinese tiger farms.

 

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mark-jones/rhinos-in-crisis_b_1549894.html?just_reloaded=1 

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Tourism meets Conservation

Thompsons Africa recently raised their hands to partner with Wildlands in support of their work around rhino conservation.

 

On the 11th of May Thompsons hosted a Pre-Indaba cocktail event for all their partners, clients and some of their staff.

 

The event, at Circus Circus on the beach front, was well attended and Rhino themed, in line with their “rhino” focused stand at Indaba, one of the largest tourism marketing events in Africa, which ran from the 12-15 May...

 

http://rhinoclub.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/tourism-meets-conservation/ ;

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KZN hard-hit with rhino poaching | IOL.co.za

KZN hard-hit with rhino poaching | IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Since the beginning of the year, 220 rhinos have been poached in South Africa, with KwaZulu-Natal being one of the hardest-hit provinces.

 

This is according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, which said the Kruger National Park, Limpopo, North West and KZN had the highest number of poached rhinos – accounting for 207 killings since January.

 

Only five months into 2012 and the number of rhinos poached country-wide is already almost half last year’s total of 448.

 

In KZN alone, 23 rhinos have been poached in the past five months, compared with 34 in 2011 and 38 in 2010.

 

Limpopo leads with 31 poached rhinos so far this year, compared with 74 last year, and 52 in 2010....

 

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/kzn-hard-hit-with-rhino-poaching-1.1305831 ;

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Panners invade rhino sanctuary

KWEKWE Zimbabwes largest black rhino sanctuary, the Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy, faces imminent collapse following an invasion by illegal gold panners.

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Could the Cocos Island pact happen?

Could the Cocos Island pact happen? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A high-seas confrontation a decade ago scuttled an agreement between the Costa Rican government and marine conservation group Sea Shepherd to patrol and protect the country’s treasured Cocos Island. And while the recent arrest of Capt. Paul Watson in Germany on 10-year-old charges of attempted shipwrecking has created a global backlash against the country, ongoing diplomacy by President Laura Chinchilla’s administration could revive the agreement and pave the way for Sea Shepherd’s return to Costa Rica.

 

Either in handcuffs via extradition or of his own free will, Paul Watson likely will return to Costa Rica to face the charges against him. In Germany, Watson and his attorney hope to meet with members of an official Costa Rican delegation traveling there, as well as with the Costa Rican ambassador to Germany. Those talks likely are to be held as The Tico Times goes to print.

 

Costa Rican officials said this week they would guarantee Watson’s safety should he voluntarily return.....

 

Still, what has been a public relations disaster for the Chinchilla administration, which has made progress on marine conservation since taking office in 2010, could end up being a political victory if a deal is struck with Sea Shepherd....

 

http://www.ticotimes.net/Current-Edition/Top-Story/Could-the-Cocos-Island-pact-happen-_Friday-May-25-2012 ;

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10 Women to Run 21k to raise R1 million to Save Rhino

10 Women to Run 21k to raise R1 million to Save Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

With just weeks before they tackle Kenya’s gruelling 21km Safaricom half marathon, the all-women Celebrate Life 2012 team is raring to go. Their quest to raise R1 million for rhino conservation has been spurred on by the increase in rhino poaching in South Africa this year. At last count more than 200 this year.

 

To raise awareness and funds, 10 ordinary women have undertaken to run 21km through the Lewa Conservancy in northern Kenya in aid of the Tusk Trust – a respected worldwide organisation which raises funds for anti-poaching projects to help save rhino and elephant throughout Africa....

 

http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/lifestyle/appeal-for-support-1.1304822 ;

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Part 1: Rhinos on Death Row? (PHOTOS)

Part 1: Rhinos on Death Row? (PHOTOS) | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Why does all this happen, at a rate that threatens the species with extinction -- once again?

 

Somewhere in Eastern Cape, South Africa, one fateful morning, wildlife veterinarian Dr. William Fowlds received a call from Kariega Game Reserve.

 

One of their rhinos had been poached. Fowlds recalls, "I expressed my heartfelt remorse and said I would be there later in the morning." There was a silent pause before the sledgehammer: "William, he is still alive!"....

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ranveig-eckhoff/rhinos-on-death-row_b_1544258.html ;

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Kariega Day 82 - Thandi the Rhino's Recovery

This is the latest news from Kariega, today, Tuesday 22nd May 2012. The news is good about how Thandi is recovering from her horrific attach in March. But th...
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Who is Really Supporting the Rhino Efforts? | Nikela

Who is Really Supporting the Rhino Efforts? | Nikela | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Black & White Rhino poaching happening at alarming rate in South Africa, organizations “help” fight wildlife trafficking, organized crime and illegal trade...

 

At the South African parliamentary hearings earlier this year (January 26, 2012) Andrew Muir with The Wilderness Foundation stated that out of the 150 organizations raising money from rhinos only 20 can account for how they use it. (Some say this has now risen to a 250:50 ratio.)

 

So who are the 50 that are really supporting the rhino efforts? What are the others doing with your money?

 

I don’t know about the latter except that I’m assuming some are putting your money into their pockets. However, as a public charity inviting you to help those who protect wildlife, including the rhino, the former is of great interest to us here at Nikela.

 

A little over a year ago (right around the time Nikela was celebrating her first anniversary) we got introduced to the rhino crisis and wanted to assist. Nikela’s mission is to help small private wildlife experts who already make a difference and can expand their reach with a little extra help.

 

Our criteria to assist includes that the organization directly works to protect now and, if not in place, has a strategy to educate for sustainable preservation of the wildlife species they focus on. Without going into detail about all our projects I’ll focus specifically on the rhino....

 

http://www.nikela.org/blog/who-is-really-supporting-the-rhino-efforts ;

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Finding a home for the rhino away from poachers

Finding a home for the rhino away from poachers | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Despite increasing numbers in scattered populations, it is still a tough fight to save this mega-herbivore.

 

The Nairobi National Park is famed for being the only wilderness park in the world bordering a capital city that can boast free ranging lions as neighbours. Yet few know that the national park is also a vital sanctuary to conserve one of the most endangered mega-herbivores on the planet — the black rhino and the white rhino.

 

Today, there are fewer than 5,000 black rhinos on a planet of seven billion people. It is heartening news for the 2010 African rhino census reveals that in 15 years, the populations of both the white rhino and the black rhino have doubled in the wild. Officials shy away from making the exact figures public — the better not to encourage poachers....

 

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/Finding+a+home+for+the+rhino+away+from+poachers/-/434746/1408634/-/laonhh/-/ ;

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Boosting bloodlines

Boosting bloodlines | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Friday sees the 24th anniversary of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife game auction and the provincial conservation agency is hoping for a bumper turnout of buyers to boost income past last year's R10m.

 

 

WildlifeMargrit:

Not sure how wildlife auctions really help wildlife conservation! Sure they bring in money that boosts the coffers, but the gene pool? It seems like these animals are sold off far too often to game ranches that engage in trophy hunting, so who needs a sound and healthy gene pool!

Your opinion?

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Trivia: 10 Things You Should Know About Rhinos

Trivia: 10 Things You Should Know About Rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Rhinos are amazing and massive animals that easily capture the imagination of their admirers both at zoos and in the wild. Unfortunately, they’re facing serious threats and their numbers are dwindling lower all the time. In honor of Endangered Species Day today, here’s a deeper look at the armored tank of animals.

 

Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/126783#ixzz1vKqm3XNa ;

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Vietnamese man found in possession of 10 rhino horns

A VIETNAMESE national was arrested in possession of 10 rhino horns during a raid in his Bedfordview apartment in Johannesburg yesterday.

 

Members of the SA Police Services, Ekurhuleni Metro police and home affairs officials, while following information after a tip-off, descended on a property on Regent Street where they made the rhino horns bust.

 

Spokesman Dennis Adriao said officers also found an elephant tusk, about R5 million cash, passports and other travel documents inside the house.

 

Police believe the suspect was not working alone and were expecting to make more arrests soon.

 

The man will appear in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court today for possession of rhino horns and elephant tusk charges under the Endangered Species Act.

 

Adriao added he will also be charged under the Bank Act for possession of large amount of cash in the house.

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Farming endangered species to save them - extinction by another means?

Farming endangered species to save them - extinction by another means? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
When we talk of conserving an animal species what do we actually mean?

 

We are likely to have in mind a vision of a rhinoceros (or any other species, for that matter) being given the opportunity to pursue its natural way of life in its native environment, perhaps in a reserve or national park.

 

And why should we want to conserve species?.....

 

A consequence of domestication is the loss or gross modification of natural social and reproductive behaviours, and the web of trophic and mutualistic relationships of which the species was an evolved part does not accompany it into the domestic sphere.....

 

But what of rhinos?

 

Professor Van Hoven didn’t deal with the species individually, but by far the most abundant one is the Southern White Rhino, whose total population is little over 20,000, the great majority of them in South Africa. He argued, with justified conviction, that we’re rapidly and comprehensively losing the battle to conserve African rhinos....

 

 http://theconversation.edu.au/farming-endangered-species-to-save-them-extinction-by-another-means-7192

 

 

 

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, May 29, 2012 3:13 AM
When I was a little girl I remember my Mom told me a story of the Dodo and how it became extinct, as a child one doesn't truely appreciate just what extinction means. As an adult we are more than aware of what extinction means and what are we doing about it? What is Government doing about it? What is Cites doing about it etc - I feel as if we and all of the 'serious' conservation groups are just sitting around; waiting for 'The Last Rhino' - Do we realise that the last extinction of a big land mammal was the Mammoth? When we stand at the gates of heaven and St Peter asks 'So, what did you do with your life?' Will we have the correct answer?
Wildlife Margrit's comment, May 29, 2012 9:52 AM
Oh yes morlyn.lyn! It appears like the little guys are peddling as fast as they can to help the rhino while those in power seem not to be fully exercising their clout.
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Tanzania: MP Wants Investigation Into Killings of Two Rhinos

Tanzania: MP Wants Investigation Into Killings of Two Rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
SERENGETI Member of Parliament Mr Kebwe Steven Kebwe wants the government to investigate the recent killing of two rhinos in Serengeti National Park.

 

Mr Kebwe said in Dar es Salaam on Saturday that the incident took place between last month and early this month. The two rhinos, Sarah and its calf were found dead and their horns hacked off at Moru area within the Park.

 

"It is surprising that these two rhinos were killed but the rangers on duty did not notice the incident until several days later.

 

This is quite unusual and government should investigate the matter," he said. Mr Kebwe said the government had installed special gadgets to protect the rhinos from poachers, adding that it was very unfortunate that the rhinos were killed.

 

"These devices set off an alarm whenever a human being gets into the radius of at least some 600 metres from the animals. I am upset this latest incident went unnoticed," he noted.The MP noted that in South Africa's Kruger National Park where over 70 per cent of the global population of rhino inhabits, an investigation has established that rangers are usually responsible for such poaching....

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201205270216.html ;

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Rhino pair fetch record R560 000

A WHITE rhino cow and calf fetched a record price of R560 000 at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s annual game auction.
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South Africa: Rhino killings rise to 227

South Africa: Rhino killings rise to 227 - up-to-the-minute news and headlines. 7thSpace is a online portal covering topics such as Family, Business, Entertainment, Headlines, Recipes and more.
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The Most Convincing Argument Against the Rhino Horn Trade Yet

The Most Convincing Argument Against the Rhino Horn Trade Yet | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

WildlifeMargrit:

This may well be the most convincing argument yet in the rhino horn controversy, so Ian's entire article is included here.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ian Michler’s diary: the rhino crisis (Africa Geographic Blog)

 

Almost 950 rhinos have been killed illegally in South Africa since January 2010. It’s an alarming statistic, and it points to a major crisis.

 

At the World Economic Forum at Davos in January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about Greece and its huge debt problem, saying ‘There would be no point in promising more and more money without tackling the causes of the crisis.’She could equally have been talking about the rhino-poaching crisis in southern Africa.

 

Unless we target its root cause there is little hope for the region’s rhino populations. Given any normal set of circumstances, this would be the obvious and most logical approach to solving a serious problem.

 

But not in this instance. Instead, the focus has shifted to legalising the trade in rhino horn. In almost all the discussions and debates on the situation, barely any attention is being directed at its fundamental cause: a belief held principally in China and Vietnam that rhino horn can be used to cure a wide range of illnesses.

 

How guilty are rhino owners and their associates?

Since these owners have invested heavily in rhinos and their horn, it is clearly not in their interests to promote any solution that may dampen demand for a product they can profit from.

 

Some within this lobby have simply decided that trade in rhino horn is the only route to take, whereas others have circulated a two-option choice that crudely pits a ‘more-of-the-same’ scenario against legalising trade. The latter, they say, is a ‘radical change’ and will cure all ills. Both approaches are extremely self-serving. In fact, it is totally misleading to group everyone who is opposed to trade into one constituency and insinuate that they are comfortably muddling along without seeking fresh solutions.

 

No-one is advocating ‘more of the same’, no matter where they stand on the trade issue. And turning to markets to solve the crisis because there may be profit spinoffs is not radical thinking; it’s a response that vested interests have resorted to ever since Adam Smith first spoke of the ‘invisible hand’ in 1779. It is also one of the primary reasons why the natural world is now in such dire trouble.

 

Changing Eastern mindsets

To legalise the trade in rhino horn is merely one option; there is a whole range of other solutions and strategies that, as a matter of necessity, must remain integral to a multi-faceted approach. Within this range, the primary focus should be on debunking the myths that fuel the use of horn. Failure to address this issue – and there is no sensible justification in avoiding it – simply validates the criminal activities connected with poaching and promotes the same absurd and ignorant thinking that has created the crisis.

 

While changing the way people think takes time, history shows that enlightenment can triumph over anachronistic and inappropriate attitudes. In the case of China and Vietnam specifically, their incredible economic successes over the past decade point the way. There is a strong correlation between sustained economic growth and the opening up of society in general. Citizens become involved in a process of greater public and global awareness that leads to demands for democracy and other political reforms, as well as social equality and justice. The environment invariably also benefits from a new order.

 

There are more than 600 million users of the social media in China alone, and most of them are young people. This is where the change in attitude is likely to be most prevalent, and it could happen at a rapid rate. Some who are engaged in the debate over the rhino’s future may harbour doubts, but let’s not forget the ongoing ‘Arab Spring’, a revolution spread so effectively by social media that archaic regimes were toppled within months. In the same vein, the rapid gains in environmental awareness that came with the rise of ‘green’ political parties across Europe in the late 1970s and ’80s changed attitudes and heralded the widespread rehabilitation of rivers and forests on that continent.

 

Prepared for domestication?

Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that legalising the trade in horn will inevitably result in rhinos being domesticated on commercial farms. This is a route we know has done nothing to relieve the pressure on the wild populations of other species. In fact, research shows the opposite to be true; despite the abalone farms and lion-breeding facilities in South Africa, for example, the wild populations of these species continue to be plundered.

 

Are we prepared to auction the conservation status of rhinos without any idea of what impact a legal trade will have on the demand for horn? If the buying and selling of rhino horn were to be sanctioned, the number of users could well exceed 500 million – a potentially disastrous scenario for wild rhinos.

 

http://blog.africageographic.com/africa-geographic-blog/conservation/ian-michlers-diary-rhino-crisis/ ;

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Rhino poaching report prompts man to donate month's salary

Rhino poaching report prompts man to donate month's salary | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Rock Center
Correspondent Harry Smith's reporting about the epidemic of illegal rhino poaching in South Africa appears to have inspired a California businessman to donate his entire month's salary to groups intent on saving the rhino from extinction.
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Rare rhino horn cup to be auctioned, June 23-24

Rare rhino horn cup to be auctioned, June 23-24 | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A weekend auction packed with Chinese carvings and works of art, porcelain, artwork and decorative arts will be held June 23-24 by Elite Decorative Arts, at the firm’s gallery in Boynton Beach, Fla.
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SANP Rhino Stats - Poaching & Arrests

SANP Rhino Stats - Poaching & Arrests | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

South Africans are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to 0800 205 005

Issued by:
The Department of Environmental Affairs on 21 May 2012

For media queries:
Albi Modise on 083 490 2871

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PHOTOS: Two-tonne rhinos transported by crane in exchange program

PHOTOS: Two-tonne rhinos transported by crane in exchange program | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Two-tonne white rhinos Lucy and Alisa make a 300 mile swap.

 

The swap is part of a European program to prevent potentially-harmful inbreeding of the rhino populations at safari parks....

 

http://www.digitalspy.com/odd/news/a382901/two-tonne-rhinos-transported-by-crane-in-exchange-program-pictures.html ;

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‘Sell rhino horn legally’ - IOL.co.za

‘Sell rhino horn legally’ -  IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

KwaZulu-Natal’s conservation boss, Dr Bandile Mkhize, has proposed the creation of a global central selling organisation in rhino horn to stop poachers decimating the animal and to break the R1.2 billion illegal market.

 

He will press the South African government to support the legalisation and control of the rhino horn market, and taking the campaign to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

 

Ezemvelo is the only provincial conservation body in South Africa not monitored by SANParks....

 

http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/sell-rhino-horn-legally-1.1300796 ;

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Horns for Asia - Blood for Africa:

Horns for Asia - Blood for Africa: | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The Rhino poaching epidemic in South Africa has become so serious that it threatens to wipe out our rhino population forever.

 

The Rhino poaching statistics since 2008 are alarming and are increasing year on year, 2008 (83), 2009 (122), 2010 (333), 2011 (443) and in 2012 over 200 rhino’s have been poached in South Africa already and conservationist are projecting that close to 600 rhino will have been poached by the end of 2012.

 

South Africa is viewed as the primary custodian of Africa’s rhinos, with 18,796 white rhinos and 1,916 black rhinos as of last estimates at the end of 2010; this represents approximately 93% and 40% of the total white and black rhino populations respectively....

 

poaching of rhino in the Kruger National Park became a much more serious issue since the South African National Parks Board opened our boarders in 2006 to both Mozambique and Zimbabwe to crate the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park....

 

The South African Government need to seriously reconsider their strategy in combating poaching and specialist law enforcement officers like the South Africa Police Task Force should be drafted in to conduct covert military stile operations in Mozambique and Zimbabwe to identify, capture and kill members of these syndicates.


All rhino’s should be fitted with radio tracking collars that are monitored by central control centre, our boarders should be closed down, military radar systems should be strategically placed in the park to identify any aircraft flying in the parks boarders, the park should be declared a no fly zone unless authorised by the parks control centre and highly trained military and police rapid response officers should be strategically deployed within area of the park that are being most affected by poaching.


We all need to protect South Africa’s biodiversity as it is the life blood for our country and attract millions of foreign tourists to South Africa each year; there are very few countries in the world that can boost that they have such a vast biodiversity.


Poaching in South Africa has become a serious issue and must be stopped....

 

For links to AVAAZ petition and Videos:

http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Horns-for-Asia-Blood-for-Africa-20120520 ;

 

 

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Can Rhino Horn Treatment Prevent Poaching?

Can Rhino Horn Treatment Prevent Poaching? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

What is the reason for treating the horn?


Aside from the health benefits to the rhinos, it is the hope of the Rhino Rescue Project that the treatment of the horn will deter the poacher and prevent the rhino being killed in the first place. We are hoping that no treated horn enters the market, as that will mean that programme is successful and the rhino horns are being left intact on the rhino....

 

Is the treatment effective?


All animals in the initial treatment sample are in excellent health. Since treatment was administered approximately 18 months ago, two cows have given birth to healthy calfs, both of whom are lactating normally. Another cow has fallen pregnant during this time. Moreover, not a single treated animal has been poached since administration of the treatment.

 

The treatment could thus be said to have brought about a 100% decrease in poaching. A year after administration of the treatment, a number of the animlas horns were re-tested to establish distribution of the treatment inside the horn over time and to ensure that the treatment did not find its way into the animal’s system and affect its overall health. Ideally, from a research perspective, a four year growth cycle should elapse before we can say with certainty that the treatment is 100% effective. However, with the current poaching numbers skyrocketing by the day, our fear is that in four years time, this information will be useless, and there won’t be rhinos left to treat.

 

http://www.rhinorescueproject.com/faq/ ;

 

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, May 18, 2012 7:38 AM
This is very good news - I wish all Rhinos could be treated with this x
Wildlife Margrit's comment, May 18, 2012 1:00 PM
Agreed, of course the pro-horn traders don't want this.