Consolation for the terminally ill: study finds a surprising use for rhino horn
The study found wild rhino horn is preferred — suggesting farmed substitutes will not stave off poaching
As well as hangover cures and cancer treatments‚ Vietnamese are using poached rhino horn — mainly from SA — to console terminally ill relatives. The discovery‚ which emerged during in-depth interviews with 30 recent purchasers of rhino horn in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City‚ startled the leaders of a Danish-Vietnamese study of the reasons Vietnamese consumers buy illegal rhino horn. "The surprising trend is that horn is increasingly being used as a symbolic gesture to console terminally ill family members‚" said Martin Nielsen of the University of Copenhagen. "The horns are intended to provide the ill with a final source of pleasure and to demonstrate that their families have done everything possible to help them." The World Wildlife Fund estimates 1‚054 South African rhino were killed by poachers in 2016‚ and 1‚028 in 2017. The number of rhinos remaining is estimated to be 30‚000‚ with between 19‚000 and 21‚000 of them living in SA. Writing in the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife‚ N...
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