Rhino Poaching Exposing the Corruption Behind This Evil Deed


South Africa – Rhino poaching is an evil action carried out on animals for one reason only, and that is financial gain. To expose the corruption behind this evil deed, the media must promote public awareness of these dreadful acts. The exposing of the corruption will hopefully save the Rhino, which is disappearing.

The Black Rhino is endangered, and the white rhinoceros is closely following with possible complete eradication. It is believed that in South Africa, this year alone, more than four hundred rhino’s have been slaughtered for their horns.

Perhaps we need to remember how valuable the rhinoceros is and assess the actual dehorning process. The female rhino need their horn to push the baby rhino to its feet, and without the horn; this becomes a difficult task for the new mother to do. The Rhino species have proven to play a vital role within its environment and without their contribution, different plants and creatures could suffer. The rhinos are mega-herbivores and have a tremendous effect on the environment.

Using their horns, they explode thick bush and trees to clear a path for different creatures. The rhino waste increases soil nutrition and structure. They use their horns to burrow and make trenches to secure pools of water, which in turn helps other creatures to survive.

There are different techniques utilized to dehorn the rhino and often poachers use extreme destructive methods and cause the animal to suffer a great deal of anxiety. Then when the horn has been removed, they no longer have a defense element. The dehorning process is a continuous system. Legal hunters of the rhino dehorn the animal using an approved method and ensuring that there is minimal trauma. A stub of the horn is left behind and treated to prevent damage as new horns grow back.

The sad fact is that rhinos are still poached with or without horn and often the stub left behind is ripped off in a shocking manner causing considerable trauma to the animal. Even though the stub is not as valuable as the full horn, the poachers will remove this as there is still a decent value attached.

Rhino horn is a profitable product in Asian countries and used for medication to treat various ailments. It is also regarded as a status symbol among the wealthy. China is currently the largest consumer of rhino horn and various illegal methods continue to spark controversy around the world.

The sad fact is that with all the public awareness and the dedication of numerous people working to end rhino poaching, we cannot stop the corruption behind this act. In Zimbabwe, the rhino are almost nonexistent and now the South African rhino is on the verge of becoming extinct. Eradicating the evil behind the poaching must take precedence; this will undoubtedly have a significant impact on saving the rhino.

Accountability from the government is urgently required, and this could result in public servants, including police officers, being exposed for accepting bribes from poachers. There are citizens in South Africa who are afraid to speak up and expose the poachers. Harassment and intimidation are a horrifying reality for the people. They want to remain silent and stay alive.

Until there is a genuine interest from government and the commitment of safety toward its people, only then will we overcome the evil and wicked action of rhino poaching.

Written by Laura Oneale

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4 Responses to "Rhino Poaching Exposing the Corruption Behind This Evil Deed"

  1. Karen Trendler   November 23, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Just clarifying paragraph 5 re dehorning. Poachers have been, in some instances mutilating \ defacing live rhino removing the horn, horn bud and some of the face and facial bone exposing the sinuses\ nasal cavities and causing considerable, damage, pain, trauma and distress. Sometimes the rhino survives and sometimes not but major veterinary intervention is required -the horn cannot regrow in most of these cases. Depending on the poachers , either the whole horn or the horn plus face are taken on dead poached rhino.

    Rhino farmers cut off a portion of the horn above the horn bud in order to harvest the horn. The same technique, of cutting of the horn above the horn bud or growth plate is also done as an anti poaching technique. In both cases , if the technique is done properly, the horn regrows. Chemical immobilisation is necessary and this has some risks. This procedure requires veterinary input as the drugs used are schedule 6 and restricted to only vets.

    The time period between cutting the horn may vary slightly between harvesting and anti poaching procedures. This needs to be repeated as the horn regrows. The dehorning as a poaching deterrent transfers the risk from rhino to owner. Dehorned rhino are still being poached and this technique has some but limited value but is still only one tool in what should be many anti poaching tools.

    A further controversial technique has been tried whereby the hole horn bud \ base of the horn is removed surgically – and the horn cannot regrow again.

    The impact of dehorning on the welfare, maintenance and social behaviour of the rhino still needs to be properly researched and there are two opposing schools of thought on this – some , many pro trade , say it has no negative impact on the rhino. Whilst others say that , as mentioned in the article, that there horn ( and i believe this too ) is there for a reason and by removing it, there must be some impact.

    Legal hunters hunt the rhino for a trophy and the horn is mounted – but the rhino is dead by the very definition of hunting – dead could not be considered ‘ minimal trauma ‘ by any stretch of the imagination. The rhino dies from the physical trauma of the gun shot or bow wound. The legal hunting permit system has loopholes which have been abused by Vietnamese and unethical hunting operators to obtain horn.

    In response to Danny above – rhino horn and ivory are two different products – ivory comes from elephant and requires the elephant to be killed in order to get the ivory.Rhino horn can be obtained by drugging and without killing the rhino

    The bottom line is that we need to halt the poaching crisis – of both rhino and elephant. Both ivory and rhino horn are a commodity for international organised crime syndicates and is also recognised now by the UN as funding terrorism. Sadly the criminal economy doesn’t respond to or play by the same rules as the normal economy and opening up the trade may well result in two unsustainable markets .

    A rhino farm is not the same as a wildlife reserve , a farm is intensive and single species focused with production as the purpose whilst a reserve or wildlife area is free ranging, multi species and can protect and provide habitat for a whole range of species = biodiversity conservation.

  2. nikki   August 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    crash the ivory market= flood the ivory market with available ivory in stock at low prices world wide, available only through SA Wild Life, this will make poaching nonviable. Farming the horns will be able to supply the demand for ivory, control and regulate the ivory market as well as stimulate ECO tourism .

    the parks board has large stock piles of ivory. (2) lifting the trade embargo on ivory in South Africa will reduce ivory value and bring valuable income to parks board, money needed to breed, farm and protect rhinos. (3) eliminate need & viability to poach through out Africa. (4) ivory horns grow like nails and can thus be ” harvested”.i.e. renewable resource. The bigger the demand for ivory the more rhino farms, ECO tourism and other job opportunities. – drop the trade embargoes on Ivory and flood the market with stock piles. Maintain low market prices rendering poaching non viable by farming rhino horn aggressively. All horns not farmed must be injected red, which is poisonous to humans.

    horns grow like finger nails. Cut it off it grows straight back. Dr. Ian Player (KZN Wild Life) saved the Rhino’s from extinction in the 1990’s by starting private game farms in the Northern Transvaal. It worked. P.S. A Rhino farm is actually a game reserve managed by wild life management.

    If it stops the slaughter of our wild life its worth it. Nothing else so far has managed to control this sudden killing spree. At the current rate of slaughter, all Rhino’s will be extinct before the turn of this decade. Ivory will always be in demand because for centuries it has been (1) a status symbol (2) used for “medicinal” purposes in many Eastern cultures. The Ivory industry is governed by greed and corruption, much like the oil industry.

    To stop this trade, a cultural belief system needs to change, just like the fur industry changed fur ownership from status symbol to shameful.

  3. danny roeloffze   August 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    the horn belongs on the rhino!!!wanting to harvest horn to stock pile so that they can flood the market is bullsh.t,fighting poachers on the ground is one thing,the bigger battle is corruption and the government needs to get more involved,i don’t care what they doing now,clearly its not enough


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