Do People Eat Rhinos? Is It Legal or Illegal?

When it comes to the poaching of animals, rhinoceros can easily snatch one of the top positions on the list. They are killed for many reasons. But do humans kill them for consuming them? Do people eat rhino meat? Well, this is definitely one of the reasons behind murdering the creature.

Do People eat Rhinos

Do People Eat Rhinos?

Though rhinoceros flesh is not the most commonly consumed one, many people eat it happily. Especially villagers of Africa are fond of this meat. The whole village goes festively when it comes to cooking rhino meat. The poor men are just happy to have something to celebrate with.

Hunters sometimes bid for killing a giant rhino that acts as a potential threat to its half extinct species. The field agents or the national park authority then marks their target. It is like poaching but officially and for the sake of the greater good of the species.

The flesh of the deceased rhinoceros is then taken to any nearby village carried on the back of a truck. The villagers are ecstatic to receive such a gift and shift to a festive mode to cook the animal with a massive fire in the middle of the village.

Besides, there are customers of this exotic meat in China, Vietnam, etc. Individuals with money are willing to pay a lot to have a piece of this flesh. Their motivations for such transactions come from ancient myths and folklores about the magical abilities of the flesh.

Sometimes, when people are just trying to cure their loved ones, and western medicine has failed, they try to look for things like rhino flesh and horn. They want to go beyond their beliefs and science to see their loved ones living a healthy life again. But for this reason, the necks of the wildlings are being put to the swords.

Myths About Rhinoceros Flesh

The ethnic Tharu group of Nepal likes to have their rhino meat slated, boiled, and dried on a plate. They believe that this food can give them good health, courage, and strength.

There is also a myth among them about keeping the rhino horn under the pillow of a pregnant woman. They believe this would help her with less effort and smooth delivery.
They also gather rhinoceros urine as a remedy for ear infections, asthma, etc.

Besides, certain individuals from northern India, northern Thailand, and Burma consume the animal’s blood, urine, and penis. They believe this would enhance their sexual desires.

Moreover, the sex organ of the animal is often sold, dried, and dehydrated in Nepalese medicine. Their myth says that this can cure the impotence of men.

Is Rhino Meat Toxic to Humans?

The Rhino’s flesh can be toxic at times because the herbivore tends to consume a lot of herbs in the wild. Several plants are not poisonous to the creature but poisonous to humans.

Moreover, the unprocessed flesh can be allergic to many. So if the dish cooked is not cooked properly, or if hygiene is not maintained to a certain standard, things can go pretty bad for people’s tummies. This could lead to food poisoning, diarrhea, and some new disease.

So the food needs to go through a cleaning process first. Otherwise, consuming it can lead anyone to severe health issues.

Rhino Poaching Statistics

Two rhinos

The current rhino poaching anarchy began in the year 2008, and in 2015 it was at its peak (1349 herbivores massacred). Though the number has lessened in recent years due to laws enforced and awareness spread, at least one giant is being killed every day out there.

In 2021, 451 rhinoceroses were killed in South Africa, which indicates an increase in the numbers in the last six years. This is the result of the highly increasing demand for the horn and flesh of the animal.

Is Rhino Meat Illegal?

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The Rhino was taken for Anatomical Analysis

Though it is illegal to smuggle horns and flesh of the rhino, the government of Africa is considering legalizing the trade. That way, both the smugglers would be lessened, and the government would also be benefitted. They even proposed to sell the meat in public for consumption.


Rhino poaching is done for several reasons. Eating them is definitely one of the reasons. Other causes include trading the horn. Whatever it be, rhinoceros is facing the ferocity of humans for sure. This needs to stop right now.

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Team Animalia Facts

"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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