Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rhino poaching goes on...also in 2012

To arrive at a rhino carcass killed for its horn is one the most awful experiences in my life. As a wildlife vet we are regularly consulted to assist with the post mortem of these animals. Thorough forensic research is extremely important to get as much evidence and information about the crime as possible. This will assist in tracking down these criminals, but also to be able to convict them of the crime once they are caught.

The white rhino on these pictures was always grazing around my house. Many friends and family have seen this fantastic animal. I was attached to this friendly young bull. This useless kill brings the poaching very close. Killed for something silly as a piece of horn. I keep repeating myself: it's just HAIR. I will also add a picture I made of a horn what naturally broke off. You can see it's a huge rasta, nothing more!!

In 2011 448 rhinos were killed in South Africa for its horn. Mainly to be used in traditional medicines in Asia (China, Vietnam, Thailand), but also as dagger handles in Jemen. In 2012 already 33 were killed. The poaching is going on at a large scale, with no idea how it's ever gonna stop. The Asian rhinos are suffering even much more. One species was declared extinct last year, the Javan rhino. Tremendously sad to see magnificent species disappearing forever. Do we have to wait until the other species are gone too?? Raising awareness is a great tool: rhino horn does NOT contain any healing capacities! But educating is going to slow. There is no time left and the world population, especially in Asia, is growing rapidly. They all want to get old and stay healthy. Some people have these beliefs and traditions for thousands of years. On top that there is always a 'placebo effect': if a person really believes something silly works, there is a chance that this person somehow will feel better afterwards. Or better put: that person is thinking that he/she is feeling better. Ever tried to convince one person to change such deep beliefs??? You know what I mean.

More about this complicated subject later!

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