Rhino slaughter

Update Sept 28. a brief interview with Vernon Wait of Lalibela shortly after the gruesome discovery

After sharing that wonderful picture with you yesterday of the Southern right with her calf I’m afraid that today I have grim news…

My local paper which has this picture on it’s front page no longer allows links, I’ve copied the article for you….

Full article here

15 thoughts on “Rhino slaughter”

  1. Soutie, don’t get me going on hunting in general and in particular ‘for sport’. It is one of the shameful vestiges of pre-human behaviour, justified by euphemisms like ‘cull’ and ‘manage’. The suffereing of animals for amusement can never be justified. I now await the gun-lobby’s response with a yawn.

  2. Janus this of course has nothing whatsoever to with management, culling, conservation or hunting, it is the wanton slaughter of magnificent endangered animals to satisfy some whimsical far-eastern belief

  3. Janus you really do get your knickers in such a twist, since when is killing and stealing rhino horn for an aphrodisiac for sick underhung slants got ANYTHING to do with hunting?
    They are one of the most rare creatures left on this earth.
    Forget yawning, go stick your head in a bucket!

  4. More than ever I believe that if the rhino is going to survive as a species there has to be a legitimate trade in rhino horn. Currently there is very little incentive and huge risks, both financial and physical for national parks and game farms to keep and protect rhinos. Maintaining anti-poaching teams is expensive and fraught with danger.

    It has been shown that rhino numbers can be restored if they are bred in captivity with adequate protection. If farmers are able to generate income from sale of the horn, there will be incentive to breed them and to provide that protection. Otherwise farmers will stay clear. If there is a legitimate trade, those Asian and Yemeni traders who currently purchase the horn illegally, will have an incentive to operate within the law. Poaching is much more likely to decline.

    It is not an ideal solution, I grant you, but as things stand, the rarer the rhino becomes, the more sought after will be the remaining horns. There can only be one outcome.

    The anti-trade lobby exists and is powerful. But like so many pressure groups it exists for the benefit of its members. There is money to be made promoting anti-poaching measures. There are numerous fund raisers and campaigns to that end. Such campaigns are seen as being politically correct and are deemed sexy by the rich and famous. Who is going to criticise a celeb who publicly promotes or gives $10,000 towards the prevention of rhino poaching? It is good for the individual’s public image. Those running the campaigns do so either for the money or for their own prestige, or both. They won’t stop with the rhino. Once that has gone, they will find another animal to ‘protect’. A legal trade in rhino horn will remove their raison d’être. That is why they are against it.

  5. Is there no way of inserting into the illegal trade in rhino horns some fakes, that when ground up would make what Christina neatly describes as “underhung slants” very ill indeed?

  6. Hi Sheona, there has certainly been talk of poisoning the horns, but I am not sure that any legitimate body could get away with it. Well not publicly anyway. I gather that those who use the horns are quite skilled at detecting real from fake.

  7. christinaosborne :

    Janus you really do get your knickers in such a twist, since when is killing and stealing rhino horn for an aphrodisiac for sick underhung slants got ANYTHING to do with hunting?
    They are one of the most rare creatures left on this earth.
    Forget yawning, go stick your head in a bucket!

    CO, I know you’re probably on the fifth shot by now so I’ll allow some leeway, but hunting animals with guns for gain or fun are the same. Do you have a spare bucket?

  8. This is dreadful, I cannot understand people that believe all this nonsense about aphrodisiacs. I would kill the damn poachers, or better yet feed them to the lions.

  9. This is totally sickening, Soutie.

    We have discussed this before and I think that Sipu is right. It’s not an ideal solution but the poachers seem to be winning, and it is one way to ensure that the rhino will survive.

    All extremely sad.

  10. ricksrant :

    I would kill the damn poachers, or better yet feed them to the lions.

    Exactly our thought last evening, cover them in animal fat and blood and park them off in the middle of Kruger, lion, hyena, leopard, croc, any would do, wouldn’t take long.

  11. The legal trade debate

    Unlike elephants, rhino are in short supply (perhaps total pop 20,000)

    Nowhere near enough to satisfying the sexual needs of “sick underhung slants” If however legally obtained horns are somehow sold on the world market with all proceeds used to protect the few remaining I think that it’s worth a try.

  12. Hi Soutie, further to my insightful comment #5, I read this article in the Business Day.


    The author, Jason Bell, clearly disagrees with my strategy, which in itself I do not object to though his reasoning seems pretty vapid and fatuous. He expresses his bitterness at the fact that conservation involves economic profit. He must be naive in the extreme if he believes that profit is entirely absent from any form of conservation no matter how noble the intentions. Even national parks and photo-safaris are operated to make money. No organisation is sustainable if it runs at a loss. Having admitted he is no economist, he proposes his own theories concerning the growth of the trade, legal or otherwise. He gratuitously lifts a quote from Noam Chomsky which has nothing whatever to do with the trade in Rhino horn though he passes it off as though it does, thus appearing to add credibility to his argument where none is due. He casts aspersions on those arguing for a legitimate trade claiming that they are only paying lip service to conservation. The idea that profit and conservation can go hand in hand seems to have escaped him.

    In fact a very real danger that exists with the diminishing supply of rhino horn is that it is being stockpiled and that the remaining herds are being deliberately targeted to raise the prices. It is happening with Blue Fin Tuna, I am reliably informed by friends in parliament. The Japanese are catching far more than they consume pushing them to extinction. While it is not feasible to breed sufficient numbers of tuna, it is feasible to breed rhino. A growing supply of horn into the market would quite possibly cause a crash in prices and a corresponding, if perverse, drop in demand.

    Bell argues that the only way to preserve the rhino, is stop the poaching by stopping the trade. How he hopes to convince the Chinese authorities and crime syndicates to cooperate on that front when the far more lethal drug trade is ever growing, despite the billions spent trying to stem it, is beyond me.

    Looking further I see Bell is a representative for the IFAW, an animal welfare charity with revenues of $25 million in 2010 and employs 300 people world wide. It was founded in 1969 by Brain Davies in Canada to oppose the commercial hunting Seal Pups with what can only be described as limited success seeing as how the hunting persists with considerable vigour. But of course that is exactly how the fund continues to maintain its profile and raise money. Few things are more shocking to the bunny huggers than the image of a baby seal about to have its head bashed in. Stop the killing and you stop the income, though with the fund’s diversification into other areas there will always be other suckers to subscribe to a cause.

    It is worth noting that In 1997 upon leaving the fund, Davies was paid $2.5 million for use of his name in promoting the fund.

    I think Mr Bell makes my point about such organisations existing for their own benefit rather than the causes they espouse.

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