World Rhino Day: why it's important to color the horns to make ivory unsaleable (and it's not a scam) | Nature and the Environment | PACIFIST JOURNAL 

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Natureza e Meio Ambiente / 02/10/2020


World Rhino Day: why it's important to color the horns to make ivory unsaleable (and it's not a scam)

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World Rhino Day: why it's important to color the horns to make ivory unsaleable (and it's not a scam)

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Also this year, the World Rhino Day appears in a situation of extreme uncertainty and concern for the future of this animal, which in Africa alone in the last decade had more than 6,680 specimens killed by poachers.

In just 3 years, we lost 1,349 horns and the demand for rhino horns is at the root of the near extinction of these species.

But lately, someone has come up with a brilliant idea to protect them by coloring their horns and making them unsalable.

An idea debated a long time ago and that sees, on the one hand, those who are in favor of such extreme measures to protect animals and, on the other hand, those who think that coloring the horns can be risky for rhinos. But also those who think this is bullshit. Still, it's all true and it can be more useful than ever.

To this end, Kruger National Park workers inject a special cocktail into 100 rhino horns in an attempt to discourage poachers as part of the “Rhino Rescue Project”.

The dye, which acts on the inside, besides dyeing the outside, can also be detected by airport scanners, even when the horn itself is transported in the form of powder. The hope is to make transportation much less smooth as well.

Not only. A powerful pesticide is present in the dye, usually used against ticks which, while unable to kill hunters and consumers who ingest the powder, have very strong side effects, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Ironically, these are some of the symptoms that rhino horn powders are believed to relieve.

This is not the case, although in some countries it is mistakenly believed that these powders are capable of curing certain diseases. Nothing could be more false, since the rhino horns contain the same molecules present in our nails.

It must be said, however, that some of the images that circulate on the web, such as the one below, have been retouched and do not exactly reflect the color assumed by the horns. That is why many think of a scam.

But the cover photo is real and was taken by the Rhino Rescue Project about 3 years ago. The picture shows a rhino after treatment.

It certainly suggests the fact that the animals are treated with antibiotics and painkillers, even though, the Rhino Rescue Project guarantees, the rhinos recover quickly.

But let us return to the actual or assumed danger of these substances to the animal. According to SaveTheRhino, the rhino horn is not porous and the liquid mixture formed by the dye and the pesticide does not spread through the horn.

Although this means that the animal does not suffer any damage, the solution does not solve the problem of poaching because the dye can be removed and scraped.

Coloring the horns, therefore, can really be the best solution to discourage poachers.

Adapted GreenMe


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