The Price of Rhino Horn
I came across an infogram (at the bottom of the post) that deals with the cuts various players get when poaching and dealing in Rhino horn. It’s pretty sickening. Thing is though, there’s always two sides to every story, sometimes there’s so many sides to a story it’s hard to figure it all out.
The fact is, there are people out there just barely surviving, that have to every day scrape just to get enough together to afford a meal. People that live in tin shacks, that have to access to the amenities that the most of us take for granted, like water and electricity, like healthcare and schooling.
There’s people out there that live in abject poverty, while at the same time are in a position to be able to look across a fence line over onto safari camps that charges hundreds of dollars per night. With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand the difficulties that rhino poaching (or any poaching for that matter) brings.
So if someone offers those people a stash of cash to help kill a Rhino and take it’s horn, well it’s hard to turn that down. And of course the obvious question that needs answering; what after the Rhino’s? Will Elephants go the same way? And then Eland or Kudu? Sad.
So the answer? It’s a combination of education, and wealth creation. It’s about making those communities aware that the short term gain is not going to be worth much in 5 years when Rhino’s are nothing but a memory or a photo in a book, and that the money that was coming in from tourism has dried up.
The communities also need to earn some sort of small stipend now, somehow they need to be made a valued partner in tourism in order to see the value in the rhinos or elephants.
Is there a future for Rhino’s? last year over a 1000 were poached, and it was all over the news. This year close on 300 have been poached, and there’s not much in the news about it. Has the news become apathetic towards the subject.
Legalise Rhino Horn Trade
one option to solve the crisis is to legalise the trade in poaching, thereby cutting out (hopefully) the black marketeers. I’m not sure this would work though. Cigarettes are legally tradable yet year after year we read about big busts involving millions of rands of black market and smuggled cigarettes.
Fact is, when there’s a demand, there’s always going to be people willing to do anything or pay any amount of money in order to satisfy that demand; if there’s not enough legal Rhino horn about, then Rhino’s will continue to get poached.
Comments are welcomed.