South Africa is home to around 70 percent of the total population of the endangered rhinoceros left on the Earth. When the European rule in these lands intensified, the rhino population went down drastically from the several hundred thousands of rhinos who were native to the African forests. This happened due to the extensive rhino poaching. In the current scenario, the rhino population is spread across 2 continents and just 5 species.
- Around 20,400 white rhinos remaining
- Around 5,250 black rhinos remaining
- The great one-horned rhinos
- The Sumatran rhinos
- The Javan rhinos
As per the South Africa’s Private Rhino Owners Association, around 6,200 of the rhinos in the country are in private hands. These rhinos are still used for the purpose of legal hunting, photographic safaris, breeding and even horn production.
The Value of the Horn of a Rhino More Than Its Life
The horn of the rhinoceros is a highly valued appendage in the world. This organ of the rhino finds its place in the expensive exotic marketplaces that are also known to value the other items like the elephant’s ivory, giraffe tail, and several others. The horn of the rhino is not made of bone. It is made of keratin that is an essential protein found in the hair and fingernails. It is said that if the rhino’s horn is trimmed properly, it grows back.
However, the selling of the rhino horn in South Africa is illegal. At the same time, a booming illegal trade of the rhino’s horn occurs in several other parts of the world including Vietnam and China. Here, the rhino horn is ground to a powder-like substance for medicinal purposes. In the black market, the horn of the rare white rhino is sold at a price of as much as $3,000 a pound.
Painful Plight of the Poached Rhinos
To procure the rhino horn, rhino poaching has reached a drastic level in the recent times. The rhinos do not roar when they are poached for their body organ. A shot rhino would cry in pain and would finally succumb to its grievous injuries. The poachers do not even spare the baby rhinos while poaching. Eve, they are severed with a machete for their baby horns.
Despite all the efforts by the South African government in protecting its rare wildlife, the rhino poaching continues to take place. The population of the rhinos has plummeted in the past decade as the poacher continue to kill them for their valuable horn, most of which end up in the exotic markets of China and Vietnam.
The people must realize the truth behind the promising fact that there is no harm in the trimming of the rhino horn as it tends to grow back. The fact is that it takes a considerable amount of time for the rhino horn to grow back. To top it all, the emotional and physical trauma faced by the animal is daunting.
This is high time that the organizations of the world understand this fact and take up proper actions for protecting the wildlife of the Earth. It is not a matter of one or two countries to which the particular wildlife is native. It should be a joint venture in the effective steps to protecting the entire wildlife of the planet.