Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Plight of the Rhino

Unbound: On the Horns of a Dilemma in South Africa -- National Geographic Traveler

A fine piece of writing with a dramatic proposal - shoot-to-kill, not the rhino, but the poacher.

Driven by Asian prosperity and folk-medicine claim's for the healing and and sexual-stimulant power of ground rhino horn (you might as well eat fingernails or hair, because that's what the horns are made of), on the street, it's worth more than gold and heroine.

This National Geographic writer is clear, and so am I - if we want to preserve the rhino who has no defense against poachers with high-powered machine guns and rifles, only drastic measures will do it.

A shoot-to-kill policy, high fines and prison terms.

Yet, this will only deal with the poachers, not the demand.

If anything, it'll only drive up demand.

Most needed: the UN and other organizations need to step up to the plate and challenge Asian governments to counter folk-medicine silliness (not all folk medicine is silly, I know that, but this is) and impose serious penalties on anyone dealing in rhino horn. Not only must measures be taken at the site where the rhino lives, but at the point of demand.

It's high time for China and other Asian countries, dripping with cash, to confront this tragedy.

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