17 Aug '11, 7pm

An Epidemic of Rhino Poaching

An Epidemic of Rhino Poaching

Reuters A rhino on a game preserve in Mafikeng, South Africa, was outfitted with a G.P.S. tracker to keep track of its movements and protect it from poaching. As if a rhino’s life wasn’t already hard enough. A belief in some East Asian countries that medicines made from the endangered beast’s horn can cure cancer is putting growing pressure on fragile Asian and African rhinoceros populations. Traditionally, rhino horn was used in Chinese medicine to treat fevers, gout, convulsions, rheumatism and other maladies (although, contrary to popular belief, not as an aphrodisiac ). It’s easy to imagine that someone suffering from terminal disease and already predisposed to believe in the efficacy of traditional medicine might be willing to pay any price for a supposed cure. That belief has made China and Vietnam major importers of illegal rhino horns, wildlife officials and conser...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/an-epidemic-of-...

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