Today at lunch, I became involved in a conversation about the killing of rhino in South Africa.
As it is only just over a month since I returned from there, I could not help but discuss some of the issues relating to this awful, senseless killing that happens on a daily basis.
In 2012 over 650 rhino were butchered.
I was ‘lucky’ enough to be granted a 2 hour interview with Dave Cooper, Chief Vet on the anti-poaching unit in Kwa Zula Natal.
At least I had first hand knowledge, of one side of the story in this war on the rhino.
One big factor that one has to bear in mind is culture of different countries..
THE MEDICINE MYTH:
Contrary to popular myth, rhino horn has never been used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac. Ground to powder, it is said to reduce inflammation, fever and cancer. It is also a popular post-partying cleanser in Vietnam. Further west in Yemen, you can hardly call yourself a man unless you own a jambiyya, which is a dagger, with a rhino horn handle.
There are many issues to be discussed.
First the Poachers come in basically 5 levels:
Shooters, Recruiters, Receivers, Exporters and Consumers.
Second to trade in horn or not to trade from dehorning the animal.
Thirdly, organised hunting of the animal.
This is too large a topic to discuss further on here, but I would be willing to answer any questions as best as I can, for anybody who cares to ask them.
One thought to leave you with:
“Out in the park a rhino is dying, its killers waiting with an axe or chainsaw to chop out its horns. The animal dosen’t need to be dead for them to begin”
Rhino are expected to be extinct in about 10 years time, at present there are less than 5,000 Black Rhino (Critically Endangered) and about 20,000 White Rhino (Near Threatened).
We will be lucky if the next generation see them in a zoo, but they are no longer safe havens either.
In England in December 2012, a man was sent to prison for the attempted theft of rhino horn from a museum in the U.K.
When man has taken all the fish from a river, he does not stop fishing, he moves onto the next river or the next species.