Despite the very real threat of extinction, rhino poaching has continued unabated.
The reason? The insatiable demand for rhino horn, and the exhorbitant prices people will pay to get their hands on it.
The demand for rhino horn began in the East where many communities believe that it holds the key to a man’s libido and overall wellness.
Despite being made from keratin, the same stuff our hair, toe nails and finger nails are made of, rhino horn is crushed and snorted, or eaten, by thousands of people who consider it a medicinal remedy.
In Vietnam for example, rhino horn powder is sold as an alternative cure for cancer.
As the myth around the potency of rhino horn permeated the East, so the demand for it grew. And as the price people were willing to pay exploded, the poaching trend in Africa was fuelled by greed and ignorance.
Today rhino horn is one of the most sought-after commodities in the world. It is more expensive to buy per ounce than gold – but the long-term costs of losing these animals is immeasurable.