Feeds

back to article Rhino horn price spike drives record poaching

Growing demand for quack cures derived from rhinoceros horn have driven horn street value to around $US65,000 per kilo, leading to a one-third increase in poaching from 2010 to 2011. While Reuters reports the South African wild population of rhino still stands at about 20,000, with 443 rhinos poached last year it’s worth …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Pirate

I'm pleased to announce that...

... new research has shown that a daily dose of PTMP (or Powdered Traditional Medicine Practitioner) has been shown to cure impotence, HIV, cancer and being terminally stupid!

So don't delay, powerder a Traditional Medicine Practitioner today!

12
0

Hey, I've got a great idea

Sell licenses to hunt the poachers, thus killing two birds with one stone.

Besides, it makes the hunt a bit more even handed if the game can shoot back.

8
0
Bronze badge

Can't we launch the myth

that ground and powdered poacher penises are the most potent aphrodisiac known? And that the optimal preparation is that they have to be ground up while still attached to its original owner.

5
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

It'll be very difficult to get any sufficient quantity because they're so small.

1
0
Gold badge

Re: launching myths

How about leaking the idea that poachers are terrorists on training exercises?

I mean, it's not like the world is short of shockingly well-resourced search and destroy teams. All we have to do is persuade them to take an interest.

1
0
Bronze badge

Cant we use science?

Couldn't we clone Rhino horn and flood the black market with it? It's not like cloned horn will be any less effective medicine or distinguishable from real horn, dump enough on the market and the price will drop till its not worth the bother to go out and kill a real animal.

Are you listening boffins? Forget the sheep, the big eared mice and the six arsed monkeys, clone something worthwhile for a change.

1
0

Why even waste time cloning rhinos? Powdered cow horn should work just as well.

Reduce disposal costs for abattoirs too, a problem-solving two-fer.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Sorry to disappoint you, but...

... Chemically, cow horns and rhino horns are not identical in composition.

But I do like where you're going with this ;-)

1
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Rhino horns are made out of hair.

1
0
Pirate

given the prices involved...

... there are some very wealthy and powerful Chinese people buying this stuff, entirely based on superstition.

I don't see why this couldn't be subject to trade sanction and governmental pressure - taking the Pandas hostage, for example?

0
1
Silver badge
Meh

Sad state the world is in.

It really puts a downer on your day. They're probably right that sustainably managed wildlife with an eye to selling 'hunting' licenses and 'hunting' tourism is the only way some of these animals will survive.

How screwed up is that?

It makes me sick. Also, I have 'hunting' in quotes because AFAICT the industry sells an easy shoot of an exotic animal to rich fat men, it doesn't seem much like hunting to me.

2
0
Unhappy

It's more corruption than sustainable management

You can be certain of one thing: any money produced by fat white men with small penises who pay to "hunt" rhinos will disappear into the pockets of officials rather than sustain wildlife in South Africa. In the rest of Africa wildlife is more or less doomed in the long run thanks to outside powers who flooded the continent with AK-47s.

It would be different if "hunters" were to do it in traditional African style, wearing a loincloth and carrying a spear.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

It's not as if

it's even similar to the Gorilla "try telling him it's not food" ad where we saw a tribesman and his starving family, this is just purely like the ivory "status decorations" trade in the 1900's.

As for the quack trade, here in the UK most "free" papers are chock full of spiritualis ads and witch doctors claiming to cure any ailments at a price, like the drugs trades, whilst demand and belief are there you wont stop the rich using it.

1
0
Silver badge

Wasn't there an initiative a while back

to sedate rhinos, and replace the horn (which is actually matted hair) with big shiny metal prosthesis - thus frustrating the poachers ?

0
0
Unhappy

Optional

Sort of... Unfortuately the poachers were killing the animals without horns out of spite and also to stop them hunting the same animal again in future.

:(

1
0
Bronze badge

Superstitious nonsense

Second only to reviews of audio equipment on here, though buying that is a little less destructive to wildlife I'll grant you.

0
0
Black Helicopters

More proof

There is no cure for stupid.

1
0

Fake Rhino Horn

Back to earlier posts, it should not be too difficult to produce a synthetic imitation powdered rhino horn that will pass basic tests. Feed this into the black market in large quantities, and eventually the price will drop. poaching will become uneconomic, and practically vanish.

0
0
Silver badge

Nah.

Word will get out that imitation horn powder is on the loose. That it's not good, could make you sick, even. Next thing you know, the demand will switch to WHOLE horn. Besides, they'll spin a yarn that the mystic effects of rhino horn actually dissipate within 60 minutes of grinding (exposure to the air and such) so that it's actually for the best to get the horn whole, grind and imbibe it in one sitting.

Counterfeiting rhino horn powder (essentially keratin) is one thing. Counterfeiting a whole rhino horn (including the shape, colours, and natural impuriies--which are supposedly the "magic ingredients" in rhino horn) would probably get more complicated.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.