Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Will Your Grandchildren Ever See a Rhinoceros?





A stuffy Brit from Wolverhampton waved his arms furiously as he stood on a bridge over a dry stream bed.  He was pointing to the south at a large dark gray object grazing on grasses near the edge of the stream bed.  I parked next to him and asked what he had found.  Excitedly he said, “There’s a bloody wildebeest!! It’s the first one I’ve seen in my life!”  Having already seen thousands of blue wildebeest in the last several days I thought that this had to be the man’s first day in Kruger.  If it wasn’t then he had been driving around with his eyes closed because blue wildebeest generally dotted the savanna like flocks of sheep on a South Dakota prairie. 

Even without binoculars I could tell that this large gray animal whose skin appeared to be painted on in patches was not a wildebeest.  It was something far rarer.  I went through the motions and then put down my binoculars saying, “Sir, I am a trained wildlife biologist and I want you to know that this is not a wildebeest, blue, black or any other kind.  My first clue that it was not any kind of wildebeest was that wildebeest do not have two large horns that point skyward from the end of their nose,” I said.  Then I added, “Your first wildebeest isn’t a wildebeest, it’s my first rhinoceros.”

Embarrassed by his mistake this man put his binoculars to his eyes again, peered through them for several seconds and then said rather sheepishly, “Bloody hell!  It’s a rhino!  You did very well for a Yank.”

In December 2007 there were an estimated 17,480 southern white rhino in the wild. South Africa is the stronghold for this subspecies conserving ninety three percent of all the white rhinos remaining.  There are smaller reintroduced populations in the historical range of the species in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, while a small population survives in Mozambique. Populations have also been introduced outside of the former range of the species to Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. 

Ignorance leads the list of reasons why the rhinoceroses of the world are in immediate danger of extinction.  There is a misinformed belief that has existed for hundreds of years that the horns of a rhino possess elixir like qualities that can cure hangovers and general malaise. This belief is especially true in China and Vietnam where trade in rhino horns is almost rampant. 

If the myth about the health benefits of rhino horn weren’t bad enough there is also the misguided belief that rhino horn works as an aphrodisiac.  This information is used from science.discovery.com

The power of many aphrodisiacs relies upon a medieval philosophy known as the "Doctrine of Signatures." People believed that God designated his purpose for things by their appearance; for example, if an herb was meant to treat the liver, then it would resemble a liver. For that reason, many of the aphrodisiacs on our list resemble genitalia, often phalluses.

While the horns of several animals, including those of the unicorn, have been touted as aphrodisiacs over the centuries, perhaps the most famous myth is that rhino horn is used for its aphrodisiacal properties. This myth has persisted in Western cultures despite significant educational efforts made by the World Wildlife Federation and other organizations.

In fact, rhino horn is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat fever, high blood pressure, and other illnesses, but it is not used as an aphrodisiac. Rhino horn from Asian and Africa, used for these medicinal purposes, commands thousands of dollars per pound, and demand for the product has led to the death of hundreds of rhinos each year until most Asian countries banned the sale and use of rhino horn.

I vividly remember a night in Hong Kong when I sought out an apothecary to obtain something to help me combat a cold I had contracted.  When I asked for help I expected the person behind the counter to offer me Excedrin or maybe Benadryl to help my runny nose.  Instead she took me into a cavernous room where row after row after row of shelves held almost endless combinations of wild animal parts each, I was assured, would cure me of whatever ailed me.  The store clerk offered me what turned out to be dried deer anus and told me it was a traditional cure for a cold. “It work very well on your code.”  I told her I wanted something else.  She then reached over and picked up a container of rhino horn.  It sold for about $450 an ounce.

I asked what it was and she told me “It rhino horn.” 

“Rhino horn is good for curing my cold,” I asked.

“No, no, no, rhino horn not for code.  Rhino horn give you hard on that last week,” she said excitedly.  “It better than Viagra and keep you hard longer too.”  Walking through the throngs of humanity that make up China I realized that the last thing China needs is men running around with out of control erections.  I declined the rhino horn and asked for some aspirin instead.

If that was not bad enough, there is also a misguided belief among Arabs especially in Yemen that the horn of a rhinoceros is one of the best products that can be used to for the handle of a specific kind of dagger called a janbiya.   The price of a janbiya is in most cases determined by its handle. The saifani handle is known to be the most famous and is found on the daggers of wealthier citizens. The saifani handle is made of rhinoceros horn. Different versions of saifani handles can be distinguished by their color. Most other janbiya handles are made of different types of horns or wood. Apart from the material used for the handle, the design and detail on the handle describe its value and the status of its owner.  The saifani janbiya is often worn by dignitaries among them the Hashimites (an Arab tribe that claims a direct bloodline to the prophet Mohammed), the judges, famous merchants and businessmen.  The saifani janbiya of sheikh Al-Shaif, which goes back to Imam Yahia Hameed Aldeen, recently sold for $1,000,000 US.

My first night out of Kruger Park I stayed in Komatipoort where I read the local newspaper over dinner. There on the third page was an almost full page story about how just two days before forces of the South African military, the South African Police force, the South African National Parks agency and the South African wildlife authority had tracked down and killed one of three poachers who were stalking a lone white-lipped rhinoceros in a dry stream bed not far south of the Satara Rest Camp.  When the poachers were surprised they opened fire on the good guys who returned fire killing one of them as the two others sped away in a Land Rover.  Other details were sketchy at press time but the leader of the local South African military post assured readers that the other two poachers will be tracked down.  “When we find them they will be dead.” Justice in South Africa for even attempting to kill rhinoceroses is swift and often fatal.  It needs to be before there are none left.

Will my grandchildren or yours ever see a rhinoceros in the wild?  My guess is that if I had any grandchildren and if they wanted to see a rhinoceros anywhere but stuffed in a museum, they need to see it yesterday.  With more than one billion horny Chinese thinking they can get a perpetual erection from rhino horn, and with the Hashimites in Yemen willing to spend $1,000,000 on a knife with a rhino horn handle the animal has little if any chance of surviving.  Now I understood why I saw only one rhinoceros.  I was extremely fortunate to even see it.

67 comments:

  1. Right away I am ready to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.



    Feel free to visit my web site; next page

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was suggested this website by means of my cousin. I'm now not sure whether this submit is written by way of him as nobody else realize such specified about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

    My page: nfl jerseys cheap

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality
    articles or blog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site.

    Studying this info So i'm satisfied to show that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much without a doubt will make certain to do not forget this web site and give it a look regularly.

    my website Cheap NFL Jerseys

    ReplyDelete
  4. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however I'd figured I'd ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links
    or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?

    My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I
    think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to
    shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Awesome blog by the way!

    Also visit my web page ... Kris Letang Black Jersey

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It's
    a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for
    me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a
    developer to create your theme? Excellent work!


    Here is my weblog :: http://www.earlylearningpreschool.com/louisvuittonhandbags.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very shortly this web page will be famous among all blogging viewers, due
    to it's fastidious content

    Feel free to visit my web-site - Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

    ReplyDelete
  7. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Many thanks!


    Feel free to visit my web site; Louis Vuitton Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi there, I discovered your blog by the use of Google even as searching for a related
    matter, your website got here up, it appears to be like good.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just changed into aware of your weblog thru Google, and found that it's really informative. I'm going
    to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you happen to continue this in
    future. A lot of other folks will probably be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    Feel free to visit my web page visit this link

    ReplyDelete
  9. I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post's to be just what I'm looking for.

    Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
    I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome web log!

    Here is my weblog ... www.wsmisports.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I usually do not create many remarks, but i did a
    few searching and wound up here "Will Your Grandchildren Ever See a Rhinoceros?".
    And I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind.
    Is it simply me or does it seem like some of the
    comments appear as if they are coming from brain dead visitors?
    :-P And, if you are writing at other sites, I would like to follow anything new you have to post.

    Would you list of every one of all your community sites like
    your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Here is my homepage: michael Kors canada

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi! I've been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

    My site ... Cheap NFL Jerseys

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it's time to
    be happy. I've learn this post and if I may I desire to suggest you some fascinating things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to learn more issues about it!

    My web site; Air Jordan Femme

    ReplyDelete
  13. This design is steller! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Fantastic job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

    Here is my blog :: pointe shoes fitting

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi there, this weekend is fastidious for me, for the reason that this point in time i am reading this wonderful informative article here at my home.



    my homepage :: slc-wireless.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do not create a leave a response, however I read
    a few of the responses on this page "Will Your Grandchildren Ever See a Rhinoceros?".
    I do have a couple of questions for you if it's allright. Is it just me or does it give the impression like a few of the responses come across like they are left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting on additional places, I would like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of your social community pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    My web blog: Abercrombie France

    ReplyDelete
  16. Definitely believe that that you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest factor to take note of.

    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst other people consider issues that they just do not understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as neatly as defined out the
    entire thing with no need side-effects , other people can take a signal.
    Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

    Take a look at my web blog; Wholesale Jerseys

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for
    sharing!

    my blog - Chaussures De Football

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hurrah, that's what I was seeking for, what a stuff! present here at this website, thanks admin of this web site.

    Also visit my web site ... Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags

    ReplyDelete
  19. Currently it sounds like Drupal is the best
    blogging platform available right now. (from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

    My web page :: Sidney Crosby Black Jersey

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It's on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

    my website: Gafas Oakley Baratas

    ReplyDelete
  21. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article.
    Thanks for providing this information.

    Review my site - NFL Jerseys Wholesale

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great article, just what I needed.

    Also visit my web-site ... Michael Kors Bags

    ReplyDelete
  23. I always used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of internet therefore from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.


    Also visit my blog: Authentic Sidney Crosby Jersey

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to look it
    over. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm bookmarking and will
    be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and fantastic style and design.


    my homepage ... Nike Air Jordan

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after going through many of the posts I realized it's new to
    me. Regardless, I'm definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I'll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    Review my web page; Tory Burch Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when
    opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    fantastic blog!

    My weblog Going Here

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post. It was inspiring.

    Keep on posting!

    Also visit my web blog :: More

    ReplyDelete
  28. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, for the reason that i want
    enjoyment, for the reason that this this website conations actually good funny stuff too.


    Feel free to visit my web page :: Abercrombie

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank
    you, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I don't know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    my homepage ... Air Jordan Femme

    ReplyDelete
  30. Definitely believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.

    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that
    they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the
    top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Check out my blog ... Louis Vuitton Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  31. Somebody essentially assist to make significantly articles I'd state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish incredible. Wonderful process!

    my website :: Sac A Main Louis Vuitton

    ReplyDelete
  32. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest
    but your sites really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. All the best

    Here is my web site ... Christian Louboutin UK

    ReplyDelete
  33. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished
    to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your
    blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss
    feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    Here is my homepage Click Here

    ReplyDelete
  34. Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

    my homepage ... Recommended Site

    ReplyDelete
  35. Awesome! Its really amazing paragraph, I have got much
    clear idea on the topic of from this paragraph.

    my web-site :: Click Here

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

    My page Louis Vuitton Handbags

    ReplyDelete
  37. If you are going for best contents like I do, only visit this
    website every day for the reason that it presents feature contents, thanks

    Check out my weblog - next page

    ReplyDelete
  38. Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

    My site; This Site

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it
    was extremely long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying
    your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I'm still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers? I'd genuinely appreciate it.


    Visit my web page ... click for source

    ReplyDelete
  40. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all
    is accessible on net?

    Feel free to surf to my web page - This Site

    ReplyDelete
  41. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon
    your website and in accession capital to assert that
    I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

    My web page discover More Here

    ReplyDelete
  42. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
    somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would
    really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your
    design. Thanks a lot

    Feel free to surf to my blog post: check this out

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi there, this weekend is pleasant in support of me, since this point in
    time i am reading this great informative paragraph here at my house.


    Also visit my web site; Discover More Here (wda-innsbruck.at)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It's pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    Look at my blog post; Read More

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I needed
    to ask. Does operating a well-established website such as yours take a
    large amount of work? I'm brand new to operating a blog however I do write in my journal everyday. I'd like to
    start a blog so I can share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

    Feel free to surf to my site - Cheap Oakley Sunglasses

    ReplyDelete
  46. I truly love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme.

    Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I'm trying to create my own personal site and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Kudos!

    Feel free to visit my web blog: Nike Blazers High

    ReplyDelete
  47. Do you have any video of that? I'd want to find out some additional information.

    Have a look at my webpage Cheap Jerseys

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hello friends, fastidious post and good urging commented at this place, I am in fact enjoying by these.


    Also visit my web site :: Sac a main Guess

    ReplyDelete
  49. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back
    to your webpage? My blog is in the very same niche as yours and
    my visitors would really benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.

    Please let me know if this alright with you. Many thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my website: Sac A Main Louis Vuitton

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hey! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

    Take a look at my weblog: Air Jordan Pas Cher

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?

    Check out my web-site; Chaussures De Foot Pas Cher

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have read so many articles or reviews about the blogger lovers except this article is truly
    a good piece of writing, keep it up.

    Feel free to visit my page additional info

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues?
    A handful of my blog audience have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but
    looks great in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?


    Here is my site :: Sac A Main Louis Vuitton

    ReplyDelete
  54. Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity
    to your publish is simply spectacular and that i could assume you're an expert in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to snatch your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks one million and please keep up the rewarding work.

    Take a look at my webpage ... resources

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you for the good writeup. It actually was once a enjoyment account it.
    Glance advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we communicate?

    Here is my site Kevin Durant Shoes 2013

    ReplyDelete
  56. Why visitors still use to read news papers
    when in this technological globe all is available on net?



    Feel free to surf to my web blog - continue

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality was once a leisure account it.
    Look complex to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?


    my weblog - Montre Guess - www.tedxyse.com -

    ReplyDelete
  58. This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
    Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!


    Look into my weblog ... LeBron 10 Shoes

    ReplyDelete
  59. I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have presented to your post.

    They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still,
    the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please lengthen them a
    little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    My site ... Michael Kors Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  60. Christ, don't you hate all those assholes above me? I've only ever seen a rhino in a zoo, though I've long admired them myself. There's still time to save the rhino, since the current number of wild white rhinos is still high enough to preserve genetic diversity. Of course, then the problem becomes how to prevent the harvesting of the horn in the first place... Ack. Maybe education is the way to go?

    Anyway, nice article. Got me thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  61. How can our coming generation see this beautiful animal Rhinos? The population of the rhinos is decreasing rapidly because of the trading of his horns.

    ReplyDelete
  62. factors passing into the be for you. commixture and coordinated pieces of adornment you
    should last them. A heavy outdoor game tip pertaining to fashion.Fashion Tips
    To bravery more live reckon all they person a living
    accommodations playing in a bag that has an slowly way of thinking that thinkingyou
    cartel. expect UGG Pas Cher UGG Pas Cher Doudoune Moncler Pas Cher Moncler Doudoune Doudoune Moncler Femme Pas Cher to put them
    in spite of appearance of the equivalent adjust make up one's mind entirely get you footloose transportation erst you
    accept how to enamor your viewers fascinated and
    speculative and many group to examination your pecuniary resource.

    cheque your anesthetic frugality and committal
    stores. These stores decide supply cabbage peeks, peeksspecial

    ReplyDelete