I knew about the horrors of poaching in Africa and Asia of Elephant tusks and Rhino horn, but was not aware of the full extent of problem until I started researching our 2011 Africa trip.
Since then I produced several series of collage prints based on hunting and poaching, and in 2017 when we went back to Africa I really want to find out more about this tragic international problem.
Rhinoceros are killed by humans for their horns, which are bought and sold on the black market, and which are used by some cultures for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes. Right now in East Asia, mostly Vietnam, is the largest market for rhino horns. “People grind up the horns and then consume them believing the dust has therapeutic properties.” (1 )
The rhino horn is made of the same substance as our hair and fingernails and horses hooves! It is keratin, which is a protein. Rhino need them to dig in the ground for food, attract a mate, and if you watch a Rhino cow and calf for a few minutes even, to corral their young around.
The powered horn has been used in traditional herbal medicine, where it is believed to have magical properties, and cure things like arthritis, headaches and cancer. However that is changing rapidly as Rhino horn is now becoming a status symbol for wealthy businessmen in East Asia where they are displaying them as trophies or status symbols. (2)
I think we should ban displaying all horn artifacts, elephant, rhino walrus, etc., from our museums and homes, even if they are historical and valuable pieces. NOT DESTROY THEM, BUT NO LONGER SHOW THEM OFF AS OBJECTS OF STATUS. Let them gather dust in a dark storeroom.What do you think? Let me know!
The IUCN Red List identifies three of the species OF RHINO as critically endangered.
Also see #lastmaleststanding. http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/uploads/assets/uploads/2015/11/OP_Infographic_Updated_2015.pdf
Ol Pejeta Conservancy Nanyuki, Kenya May 2017
http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/, where some 90,000 acres of open Savannah grassland and convert it to a national land trust in 2004.
One of only several surviving rare Northern White Rhino’s, living behind fences and guarded the rest of their lives
2. Reasons For Rhino Poaching by Roseanna McBain on 28 February 2012