back to article S African rhino rustlers tackled using satellite horn implants

Rhinos in South Africa have been fitted with tracker bugs implanted in their horns, in an attempt by game wardens to frustrate poachers. Powdered rhino horn is much in demand in the Far East, where it is considered an aid to a gentleman's boudoir prowess. The BBC reports that five rhinos residing in the Mafikeng Game Reserve …


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  1. The Bit Wrangler

    Gentleman's boudoir prowess ?

    You clearly don't watch QI. Rhino horn has no connection with aphrodisia (in Chinese "medicine" or elsewhere), it's used as a completely ineffective medicine for all sorts of complaints but not as an aphrodisiac.

  2. Thomas 4
    IT Angle

    People never cease to amaze me

    Some impotent moron is willing to pay thousands of dollars for a rhino horn when top quality viagra is available now at pharmacy beating prices. At least, so my spam box tells me. Repeatedly.

    1. MegC

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Haha I watched that episode last night, I wonder if they would tell the difference if we just cut our finger nails into a bag and sold that. It's essentially the same stuff.

      1. Wize

        Well, since its small and semi-circular

        As opposed to big and horn shaped...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Beat me to it

      Was going to say the same - QI has spoken!

      That said, an episode of QI that suggests John Glenn was the first person to orbit the Earth (not just the first Merkin to) still gets regularly broadcast, poor old Gagarin and Titov apparently being overlooked, so I wouldn't treat everything that comes out of Stephen Fry's cakehole as gospel. Mind you, I don't take the gospels as gospel.

    3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re people never cease to amaze me

      Alas, you know, people still believe they'll end up in heaven when they live a holy life or, others, have some houris at their disposal... And I really don't care what people think rhino horn is good for.

  3. Apocalypse Later


    "Powdered rhino horn is much in demand in the Far East, where it is considered an aid to a gentleman's boudoir prowess."

    It is in demand, but not for that. It is used in Chinese medicine for fevers and convulsions. It is also used in making the handles of traditional Arab daggers.

    I found this information online in seconds.

  4. Cthonus
    Dead Vulture

    Pas vrai

    "Powdered rhino horn is much in demand in the Far East, where it is considered an aid to a gentleman's boudoir prowess"

    Come on, I think you'll find even Wikipedia has sussed that's a just a common fallacy. Or don't your hacks watch QI?

  5. EddieD

    too late...

    Like the Bit Wrangler, I was going to mention the urban myth about the uses of rhino horn in eastern cultures...

    "Ironically, it seems the only condition rhino horn is not prescribed for is a lagging libido."

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    Off with their horns!

    The poachers that is, of course.

    1. NoSh*tSherlock!
      Paris Hilton


      Surely it is simply one of a whole class of well known Phallusies?

  7. ShaggyDoggy

    Rusty Hustler

    tell me that isn't real

  8. Blofeld's Cat

    On the other hand...

    Anyone care to predict how long it is before the "perissodactyl poachers" (nice one) are guided to their prey by the implanted device?

  9. bell
    Thumb Down

    Missing background

    I really couldn't care what some misguided twat is purchasing the powdered horn for.

    I do think it was a little sloppy to omit the important and rather sad background this development takes against though.

    There has been a massive and alarming increase in rhino poaching in South Africa this year. According to the WWF there were 470 rhino poached across Africa between 2006 and 2009. 200 rhino were poached in South Africa to mid-October this year. The big anti-poaching success story of the year -the arrest of 11 people in late September - came with it's own distressing aspect: two of those arrested were vets.

  10. James 5

    Rusty Hustler 2

    Must be his name - you couldn't make it up! But everyone will remember it.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge


    The first Rhino that tries to walk out of the reserve is going to get the surprise of its life when it hears: "Make a U-Turn if possible" coming from its own nose.....

    1. Flugal

      "Make a U-Turn if possible"

      Would that be said with a Wayne Rooney accent?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I prefer the poisoning of the horn.... far more effective

    As mnetioned in the title, I think it id far better to poison the horn. Ideally with something really evil and nasty, to make the suffering of the person taking it in really long and painful.

    Having lived in southern Africa for many years, I despise those who kill this beautiful animal just because of its horn.

    If there were plenty of them (flame war here I come....) like for instance elephants which occasionally have to be shot for population control (this depends on where this is done, as there are grave differences in the population sizes depending on the area)

    what would even be better, would be a little explosive devise that goes of the moment the heartbeat of the animal can't be measured any more.

    Well anything, that would eradicate these bastards who kill these animals for virtually nothing....

    When I lived in souther Africa, it was really cool with poachers:

    Usually no money was wasted on expensive trials, plenty where caught, but they rarely re-offended.... (if you get my drift)

    this may sound rather radical, but I know that those of you who have lived in southern Africa, and know and understand the culture, will agree, this was the best solution.... and even today I am all for it.

    Trials are way to long, thereby expensive, sentences are way too lenient, and highly ineffective.

    I have lived in Saudi Arabia for about five years (many years back) and I am far from being a sharia-supporter, but over there the owner of a jewellery shop was able to leave his shop unlocked (open actually) and go of for a cup of tea or coffee for half an hour without being worries that his store was empty. I can't see this happening anywhere here....

    If you were caught steeling, they would take off your hand....

  13. JaitcH

    Can't be using Garmin or MapQuest

    Using a late model Garmin GPS unit in conjunction with Mapquest I, allegedly, DROVE 1,800 kilometres around 10-15 kilometres out to sea.

    Obviously these rustler hunters must be using more reliable hardware and software that cost me USD$700.

    1. Tempest

      Garmin in China ... what a joke!

      I bought the Pacific regional maps for China and the errors were horrendous in some places.

      When I was in Tibet the errors were bad yet at those heights and locales, where there were few buildings, the elevated height - closer to the satellites - should have been optimal.

  14. John H Woods

    New sport ...

    ... Rhino hunter hunting. And Tiger hunters. It should be perfectly acceptable to have the heads of these chaps mounted on plaques above one's fireplace.

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