Posts Tagged With: Horns

Magic powder

First Light Productions

Rhino horn, ground into powder, is in strong demand in Vietnam.

Rhino horn powder mixed in drink. (Photo: Justinmott.Photoshelter.com) Rhino horn powder mixed in drink. (Photo: Justinmott.Photoshelter.com)

It is believed to be a cancer cure and an aphrodisiac for men. Businessmen buy it as a “tribute” to bribe their superiors and “lubricate” business affairs.

Grinding rhino horn to power. (Photo: Justinmott.Photoshelter.com) Grinding rhino horn to power. (Photo: Justinmott.Photoshelter.com)

Openly advertised in the streets of downtown Hanoi it can be purchased at shops selling traditional medicines at prices approaching $70,000 per kg.

Vietnam. Ad for rhino horn grinding plates. (Photo: Justinmott.Photoshelter.com) Vietnam. Ad for rhino horn grinding plates. (Photo: Justinmott.Photoshelter.com)

70 % of rhino horn specimens in Vietnam are fake.

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Damned if They Do, Damned if They Don’t

To trade or not to trade?  Always a hotbed of debate concerning rhino poaching

But since South Africa is entertaining the idea of a “one-off” sale to sell the current stockpiles of horn, things have taken a dismal turn indeed.

Here are the scenarios: #1) Trade IS allowed as a one-time only option– wetting the appetite of the Asian market, like throwing a chicken into a hungry hoard of crocodiles. This will undoubtedly  send poaching rates soaring.

#2) Trade is allowed on a regular basis but cannot be monitored enough to stop poaching, and with the number of rhinos currently surviving, there are not nearly enough of them to keep up with the monstrous demand.

#3) Trade is Not allowed.  In order to make up for lack of profit, will the “farmers” sell their rhinos off  to trophy hunters? Will they be sold off to the highest bidder (who may happen to reside in China or Vietnam (where there are already rhino “farms”)?

black rhino dehornIf trade passes, they’re doomed, if it doesn’t will we see them traded/sold anyhow? If money cannot be made through horn trade, will the SA government up the ante and increase the number of “big game” hunting permits handed out? Will they still make attempts to prevent poaching?

Sadly, it seems there is no great solution, our rhino are living in a bloody sea of corruption. Caught up in man’s greedy grasp, killed for parts of their bodies, being stomped out in the name of ignorance. It is only through taking a stand we give them a voice, continue to fight and NOT stand by in passivity.

Please join me in sending a message to CITES to tell them we are watching, we care about our endangered species: https://www.causes.com/campaigns/33363-lobby-the-cites-secretariat-the-178-member-parties

For more information on trade vs no-trade in rhino horn, please see previous posts: To Trade or Not to Trade and Kill the Trade or Kill the Rhino.

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Thandi: Plastic Surgery after Poaching

Thandi’s story started in March of 2012, when she was brought to our attention after the brutal poaching attempt on her life, along with her companion Themba.  (see previous post https://fightforrhinos.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/thandis-story/)

Thandi recovered.

After a long and painful recovery, Thandi survived. But her medical crisis is still not over. Unfortunately all of her skin which healed over her horrible scar, has been torn open after a normal interaction with another rhino.

The following is a message from Dr. William Fowlds who continues to care for Thandi:

Day 480 since the poaching of Thandi, Themba and Bull #84.

“Today we converge yet again on Kariega Game Reserve in support of the rehabilitation of Thandi the survivor of rhino poaching. Following the successes of various phases of her recovery, a recent set-back occurred when her face was damaged by a bull introduced to replace the breeding capacity lost by the poaching incident over a year ago. In a process which has involved ground breaking efforts to give her back a normal rhino life, we have been reminded just how much poaching took away from her and just how much more she still needs our support through her recovery.

This special rhino has survived against all odds and in the process captured the hearts of thousands of people around the world. Her will to survive combined with the dedication of many and the support of a growing global community of rhino lovers has created a platform which has highlighted the rhino crisis and inspired people to action in an unprecedented way. Everyone who has been drawn back to her side on this day can reflect on 15 months
where, in spite of an escalating crisis, we are more determined, more equipped and more actively committed to saving this species than ever before.Thandi skin graft

So the gravity of this day rests heavily on our shoulders. This team of professionals have the responsibility of taking Thandi safely through an anaesthetic and ground breaking surgery, and apply ways to repair her face so that she can handle the rigours of rhino life in the future. This is yet another chapter in a process which has no guaranteed outcomes. The only given is that with so many people in support of this special rhino, and what
she represents for her species, we know that we are giving her the best that we possibly can.

Two specialist veterinary surgeons from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort, Dr Gerhard Steenkamp and Dr Johan Marais have returned along with a human plastic surgeon Dr Alistair Lamont and together they have spent the past 14 months collaborating and working on new techniques to repair facial damage in poached rhino. The aim of today’s procedures will be for them to assess the quality of the facial tissues and decide if they are able to apply any of these new measures of re-establishing robust rhino skin. Although extensive work has been done on dead rhino in understanding the detailed anatomy of rhino skin, none of this new knowledge has been applied
to a live animal before.sking graft thandi

We would like to thank everyone who has supported Thandi in her recovery thus far. From members of the concerned public to NGO’s who have come forward to assist, to people with specific skills in media and medical support. Those far away are as important to her recovery as those who will be at her side today.

———————————

The surgery is over. If Thandi keeps the dressing on and all goes well, she will undergo additional procedures and more skin grafts. It is hopeful after all this, she will be able to finally have a “normal” life post poaching, and be able to engage in regular courtship activities.

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Yao Ming: Making a Difference

At 7ft, 6 in tall, Yao Ming is an intimidating figure, the tallest player in the NBA during his former career with the Houston Rockets. But this gentle giant is spending his time nowadays educating people on the crisis of elephant and rhino poaching.

As a goodwill ambassador to WildAid, he recently teamed up with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). They are launching a major public awareness campaign targeting the consumption of rhino horn and ivory, in China. With public service announcements stating “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

Yao Ming with one of the four remaining Northern White Rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Yao Ming with one of the four remaining Northern White Rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

According to WildAid.Org, in 2012  a Chinese research company did a study  on elephant poaching  finding that:

  •  More than half of the nearly 1,000 participants (over 50%) do not think elephant poaching is common;
  • 34%, or one in three respondents, believe ivory is obtained from natural elephant mortality;
  • Only 33% of all participants believe elephants are poached for their tusks; and
  • 94% of residents agree theChinese government should impose a ban on the ivory trade

A similar survey was also done on rhino poaching:

  • 66% of all participants, that is two out of every three respondents, are not aware that rhino horn comes from poached rhinos;
  • Nearly 50% believed rhino horn can be legally purchased from official stores; and
  • 95% of residents agree the “Chinese government should take stricter action to prevent use of rhino horns.”

Being an animal lover and inspired by Jackie Chan, the Chinese basketball sensation has made raising awareness a top priority. He is a goodwill ambassador and a promising connection between the poaching crisis of Africa and the demand of the Chinese people.

Yao Ming is followed by Kinango, a 2-week-old orphaned elephant whose mother was poached for her ivory, at Daphne Sheldrick's orphanage.

Yao Ming is followed by Kinango, a 2-week-old orphaned elephant whose mother was poached for her ivory, at Daphne Sheldrick’s orphanage.

According to Ming, “The most effective thing you can do to counter this kind of situation is raise people’s awareness. Eliminate the demand for rhino horn and ivory right at the source. That’s what I want to do. It might take some time, sure, but I’m really hoping that gradually we can start to see an improvement.”

“Poaching threatens livelihoods, education, and development in parts of Africa due to the insecurity it brings and loss of tourism revenue. No one who sees the results firsthand, as I did, would buy ivory or rhino horn. I believe when people in China know what’s happening they will do the right thing and say no to these products.”

Ming’s previous campaign to educate the Chinese on the demand of shark fins,  is credited with a reduction of 50 – 70% in consumption of shark fin in China in 2012. We can only hope his current drive to eliminate the demand for horn and tusk is just as effective.

Yao Mings PSA: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151340496426316

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did you know??

Rhinos sleep standing up.

Rhinos sleep standing up.

*Rhinos are distantly related to the horse

*The White Rhinos is the largest, weighing up to 5000lbs,
the Sumatran is the smallest, weighing “just” 1750lbs.

*Rhinos roll in the mud so they don’t get sunburned

*Rhino dung piles reach up to 3ft. high

*The Javan Rhino is the rarest land mammal

*The longest horn was from a White Rhino, it measured just shy of 60 inches.

*Rhino pregnancies last 15-16 months

*Rhinos have poor eyesight

*Rhinos can live 40-45 years

*The birds, called oxpeckers, that “hang out” on rhinos, eat ticks and warn of danger

*A group of rhinos is called a Crash

*They can run up to 40 miles per hour

*The Swahili word for rhino is KIFARU (key-far-oo)

*Research shows the process in which rhino horns form and repair themselves could teach auto makers how to create more impact resistant bumpers.

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Thandi’s Story

Thandi found poached.

Thandi found poached.

Thandi recovered.

Thandi recovered.

Amidst the hundreds of rhinos slaughtered in 2012, one rhino beat the odds. Her name is Thandi.

In early March of 2012 three rhinos were found poached in the Kariega Game Reserve. One immediately
died. The remaining two made it through the night. The survivors-Thandi (meaning love) and Themba
(meaning hope) were tended to with intense veterinary care.

Unfortunately after 24 days, Themba died.

Thandi lived. She fought a long, painful battle, but miraculously recovered. She lives without a
horn, without her companions, but she lives with hope. Perhaps the one thing that almost killed her
(having a horn) will now be her salvation.

To follow more about Thandi’s story go to http://www.helpingrhinos.org or http://www.kariega.co/about-us/help-save-our-rhino-project

Categories: Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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