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Assam rhino poaching 'spirals' (BBC)

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 01:36 PM
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Assam rhino poaching 'spirals' (BBC)
By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

Wildlife authorities in the Indian state of Assam say they are troubled by a sudden rise in poaching of one-horned rhinos at the state's Kaziranga park.

They say that they suspect a newly-formed gang of poachers killed six rhinos over the last three months - with two being shot over the last week.

Officials say the problem has been made worse by a lack of wildlife wardens.

Kaziranga is Assam's most famous national park and is estimated to have 66% of the world's one-horned rhinos.

Electric shocks

"We suspect that a new gang with better resources is operating in the area," said Kaziranga's wildlife warden Utpal Bora.
***
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6564337.stm

This sounds like an unfortunate reverse for what has been a very successful wildlife refuge. Yes, the demand is still for rhino horn powder to use as an "aphrodisiac" despite any evidence to back up this old superstition.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 01:45 PM
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1. People will kill or destroy ANYTHING just to get an orgasm.
I have never understood how anyone could figure their sexual pleasure was worth more than a life. I don't care if it is a human life or the life of an endangered species.

There is no way anyone will ever convince me that we are at the top of the evolutionary ladder.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-17-07 02:33 PM
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2. The Aphrodisiac line was disproved 20 years ago.
Edited on Tue Apr-17-07 02:53 PM by happyslug
First under Chinese's medicine you had other substances that were viewed as more powerful, second the real cause, Yemen wealth.

Yemen workers have been working in Saudi Arabian for decades (bin Laden's family is Yemen in origin). Yemen thus have had a huge influx of money since the 1970s. This money has encouraged Yemen families to buy their sons the most prized Yemeni gift, a dagger with a Rhino horn hilt. The following article states such usage had dropped in recent years, but since such usage had been illegal for decades the exact number of Rhino Horns imported into Yemen is unknowable. The article indicate China is the main user of illegal Rhino Horns at the present time, and more as something that indicates poisons than an Aphrodisiac (and some studies states crushed Rhino horn does reduce fevers, but so do horns from other animals).

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/1997/1/h...

Article about increase demand in Yemen for Rhino Horns:
http://www.colszoo.org/Conservation/2003rpt/rhinohorn.h...

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0707_04...
http://www.achimerfriendsofrhino.de/Rhino/Rhino_Horn/Da...
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