Sadly, we must cut rhino horns to stop the poor creatures for being poached for said horns. This is a sad but true part of life for rhinos.
Rhinos are one of the most infamously poached creatures on earth, a devastating fact that is pushing them to the brink of extinction. Most species of rhino are now classed as critically endangered. One of the ways conservation workers attempt to protect the creatures is to cut rhino horns off, thus making them less desirable.
But why are rhinos poached?
Good question. As you’ve probably surmised, rhinos are primarily hunted for their horns.
Rhino horn, when powdered, is a commonly used element in traditional Asian medicinal practice. It is used as part of the cure for many ailments, ranging from hangovers to cancer. However, in more recent times the high black-market demand for rhino horn branches from Vietnam. Here it is used not only as medicine but also as a symbol of status, wealth and power.
Supposedly, rhino horn is also a powerful aphrodisiac (there is a very obvious joke to be made here, but i like to think of myself as being better than that).
Poaching is a very tragic yet very pressing issue in the modern world which threatens hundreds of species globally. From rhinos and elephants all the way to tigers and gorillas; poachers are wiping these stunning creatures out.
A little warning, some readers may find this paragraph quite upsetting so i urge you to skip ahead if you want to avoid a description of how poachers remove the horns. For those who want to know, the rhino is often tranquillised before the horn is crudely hacked/ripped off. The poor creature is then left to wake up and die a slow and painful death from blood loss. Absolutely evil and vile (and every other anagram of E V I L).
Anyway, welcome back to those who chose not to read that, i hope you’ll press on to find out how we’re trying to prevent such horrible things.
Cut rhino horns to save rhino lives
Now let’s talk about how people are trying to save these big beautiful beasts.
Rhinos in nature reserves/preservations or indeed even wild rhinos are tranquillised and their horn is grinder/cut down so only a nub remains. This makes the rhino undesirable to poachers, as without a horn they have nothing to be stolen. Even though this still results in the loss of a horn, it is much more humane than poachers who rip the whole horn out at the root and leave the rhino to bleed to death.
The grinding of a rhino horn down to a nub can be equated to humans cutting their fingernails. A painless and beneficial process indeed.
So, now you know. We cut rhino horns down to nubs for their own protection. Without their large signature horn they are of no interest to poachers; you can’t steal what isn’t there. And yes, while it is sad that this is what it has come to, it keeps the creatures safe and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.