We Must Fight Rhino Poaching With Science And Dismiss Superstition

A recent story about poachers breaking into the zoo in Paris and killing a rhino to saw off its horn has led to Czech and Belgian zookeepers pre-emptively sawing off the horns of their rhinos in captivity to thwart potential poachers. That sort of supply-reduction thinking will work just as effectively as fumigating illicit cocaine crops and banning assault weapons. You cannot repeal the law of supply and demand. So long as there is demand for rhino horns, cocaine, and assault weapons, someone will step up to supply them. The demand for cocaine and assault weapons seems easy to understand. But does everybody know why poachers kill rhinos for their horns? Because many people in Asia believe silly ancient superstitions divorced from medicine and science. VICE reports: “According to the Guardian, rhino horns are more valuable than gold or coke and can get up to $60,000 per kilo on the black market. Often they’re sold to clients in China and Vietnam as traditional medicine or aphrodisiacs.” We have every medicine science can provide from Abilify to Zyrtec, with Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra in-between. We have a global communications network that can impart the factual information about which medicines work and which do not. But because Chinese and Vietnamese people have believed in a worthless folk medicine for 2,000 years, poachers can make more money on one rhino horn on one kill than they would earn in a year. The life of a rhino is now essentially like a big...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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