Though rhinoceros poaching has decreased through the years, they are still being killed in huge numbers. Rhinoceroses are poached by criminal groups for their majestic horns.
The Rhino population had decreased to about 95% during the 90s. Ignorant and money-hungry people are mainly the reason behind this.
During the years many people have wondered how they could stop rhino poaching. Their thoughts were materialized into conserving organizations that made their position stronger. As a result, people are more informed and concerned about wildlife rights.
6 Reasons why rhinos are being poached
Rhinoceros are exciting creatures with majestic horns on their nose. Currently, there are five species of them roaming the earth and all of them have their horns. Some have two horns and some have a single aiguille. The longer one is known as the prime horn. The prime horn can grow up to a surprising 1.3 meters.
These horns are the primary reason for the beasts being murdered so mercilessly. Criminal organizations act as the supply machine for the undying demand of these horns. Their current market value has reached more than gold which is a piece of total chaotic information! But why is it so? Why is there such a huge demand for these?
Here are 6 stupid reasons why rhinos are poached:
- Rhinoceros horns are considered to have magical powers. Ignorant people believe these to have healing powers for life-threatening diseases such as cancer!
- A special powder-like substance is prepared from these. This powder is thought to be helpful to cure hangovers.
- The artistic materials carved from their horns are considered highly luxurious. Money hunks want to possess these materials just to show off and they are willing to pay a handsome amount of money for these.
- A special dagger is made from the horns. This dagger has a very high market value in some countries.
- Traditional Chinese medicines have great use of such limbs. A powder is prepared by grinding the tough limb. This powder is used to treat normal fever, gout, rheumatism, and other disorders.
- Few party drugs are also produced from these.
None of the above information is proven by scientific studies. Rather it is proven for these to have no medical value. Rhino horns are made of keratin which is a substance of human hair & nails. To hope this substance to be a cure for cancer is as stupid as biting your nails when you’re sick.
Who are the rhino killers?
Several groups are responsible for the huge decrease in the rhino population. Almost 95% of the population was massacred mercilessly from the 1970s to the 1990s. This huge hunting was not done by any single group or buyers.
The groups that must bear the responsibilities behind rhinos being scarce today are as follows:
- The worldwide criminal network that is involved in human trafficking, slaughtering drugs into different countries, selling illegal weapons is also involved in smuggling rhinoceros’ horns.
- Military personnel, police officers, or legal weapon holders often use their weapons on wildlings. They believe this helps them to improve their shooting skills. The ignorant people often aim at rhinos in the wild. Many even smuggle the horns in the name of target practice.
- The ignorant villagers of South Africa also get their hands dirty in the business. The economically poor men fall into the money trap of the hunters. The hunting organizations often get useful information through the local villagers about rhino industries in exchange for a few dollars. This also puts the wildlings’ lives in danger.
- Many corrupted persons in the wildlife industries have also got involved in this illegal trading. Such as ranch owners, vets, pilots, truck drivers, and many more.
- Trophy hunting is often used as a cover for the smuggling business. Many organizations act as trophy hunters on the outside but are really smugglers on the inside.
No one likes these illegal traders of South Africa. They often trick the locals with their money to get useful information about the huge wildlings.
Many poachers even die in the wild while on a hunting operation. The reaction of mass people on the death news of poachers is as expected. People on the internet also express their hate for these criminals.
How to stop rhino poaching?
If the illegal trading goes on at this rate, Rhinos are probably going to be extinct species in the near future. This extinction can bring serious damages to nature which will eventually lead to unstable and uninhabitable conditions for human beings as a whole.
This heinous business must be stopped immediately. But the process is not so simple. Criminal organizations have made their positions strong in the smuggling world and the wildlife industry.
Besides, there generally exist several wealthy businessmen behind these hunters. So they usually have enough funding and power already behind them. They don’t even hesitate to murder people if they get in their way.
Luckily people now are more concerned than ever about such trades. As a result, the world of these smugglers is getting smaller every day. Several steps are being taken, new ideas are being presented by organizations, and laws are being enforced.
Here are 8 things that you could do to stop rhino poaching,
- Donations are the primary step that one can take in his thousand miles journey to stop this trade. Currently, hundreds of groups are working both on the field and off the field to stop animal poaching. Many of them even specialize in anti-poaching. You could make handsome donations to these organizations to help them grow.
- Educating the ignorant is the second most important thing to do. Because, if the demand for these limbs could be reduced, then the supply would mean nothing and eventually result in the smuggling job going extinct. It is scientifically proven that rhino horns have no medicinal value. If this idea could be implemented in the minds of the ignorant, then it is sure for rhino horns’ demands to decrease to zero. If the masses could be educated and made conscious about the rhino massacre and its effects on nature, then they are sure to come forward to stop this trade.
- Train yourself in becoming a ranger. Then you can work in the anti rhino hunting organizations in the wild.
- Educate the local villagers of South Africa to not fall into the money traps offered by the criminal organizations. They must understand they are losing much more naturally than what they are gaining economically.
- Contact the right people to enforce harsher laws on the poachers.
- Dehorning the animal is also considered as an alternate solution to poaching. Criminal organizations show zero interest in dehorned rhinoceroses. A rhino without its pointy horn makes defenseless, can face troubles in the wild. But there is no greater predator than humans. If it means saving its life then so be it. During the early 1990s, the dehorning process resulted in a surprising decrease in poaching in a long time.
- Dying the horns is also a solution to the problem. Because hunters generally avoid the animals with tainted limbs.
- Lastly, increase the practice of religion in your community. Every religion prevents unnecessary violence on animals. Spread the scriptures from your holy books relating to animal abuse. Teach the children to love animals and not to harm them unnecessarily. This will help them to become better citizens in the near future.
Rhino conservation and poaching statistics
Thousands of rhinoceroses populated the earth at the beginning of the twentieth century. But during the last century, rhinoceroses’ fate suffered horribly in the hands of humans.
According to Rhino Conservation Botswana and others studies, there are roughly 20,000 Southern White rhinos, only two northern white rhinos, and 5000 black rhinoceroses left in Africa. Other species were not so lucky. Their numbers are even lesser. Around only 3000 Indian species, 67 Javan species, and only 30 Sumatran species are living in the wild.
The demand for rhinoceroses’ horns was always alive. The buyers kept on bidding the price higher. As a result, corrupted people saw great economical opportunities in this business. This resulted in today’s rhino population massacre.
From 2019 to 2020 the Botswana government officially stated 46 confirmed rhinoceros poaching. That’s about 9% of the black rhino population in that country.
Indian species are now in a relatively safer position than the African ones. This is the result of various organizations working day and night along with the government. From 2006 to 2015 under 200 giants were documented as killed in the deserts of India.
South Africa is undoubtedly the maximum rhinoceros inhabited country in the world. The Kruger National Park is home to more than 8000 of these animals. But it is also the country where the maximum of the killings take place.
More than 1000 rhinoceroses were killed per year from 2013 to 2017 in South Africa and that is only the official number. This is when the government started to investigate the matter deeper. New departments were formed and new laws were enforced. The final report of 2020 indicated a decrease of 394 illegal killings throughout the whole year. This number is certainly lesser than before but obviously not less at all.
Poaching is considered to be a heinous crime. People now are more concerned than ever. They are more informed than ever. This didn’t happen by chance. This is the result of continuous hard work done by several communities all around the world. These unsung heroes are one of the key reasons behind today’s decrease in poaching activities.
Save The Rhino International
This charity foundation started raising funds back in 1992. Their headquarters are situated in the UK but they work all around Africa and Asia. Their main focus is preserving and protecting the endangered rhinoceroses.
Their goal is to educate the locals about preserving their environment. The organization is also evaluating the results of various research programs. Some other areas they focus on are anti-poaching patrols, finding better habitats for the giant beasts, researching medicinal alternatives for horns in Chinese medicine, treating and tracking sick rhinos, etc.
This community is determined to save the horned giants of South Africa. They love rhinos and work with people they can trust on the field. Their goals are preservation and protection from poaching, educating local communities, and fulfilling overall requirements to sustain the species.
They also run research and fundraising programs. Political advocacy is also one of their key focus points.
International Rhino Foundation
This multidimensional community is working in Zimbabwe, India, Sumatra, South Africa, Java, and Vietnam.
Their key focus areas include monitoring and investigating rhino habitats in the wild, finding and restoring better habitats for the wildling, working alongside local communities, running breeding programs, reducing demand for horns, and supporting and evaluating scientific solutions to the conservation of the horned giants.
Currently, a large number of anti-poaching communities and foundations have formed throughout the world. They are working day and night spreading messages on how to stop rhino poaching. They are also trying their level best in convincing the government to enforce harsher laws. Some are even inventing new technologies for wildlife biodiversity.