Eastern Black Rhinos in Leipzig Zoo | Photo: Carbohut, License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Breeder saws off horns to protect his rhinos from poachers

Published on rtl.de the 08.09.2021.

This breeder is tricking poachers: he saws off his own rhinos‘ horns and sells them himself to spoil the poachers’ business.

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Note: In the last years, we have been able to observe that the banning policy has not managed to put an end to poaching. Commercial rhino breeding, however, is a way to render the poachers’ lucrative business unprofitable. Rhino horns are a renewable resource, and while poachers have to shoot the animals to obtain the horn, it is much easier, cheaper in the long term, and overall more sustainable to obtain it under human care. Ultimately, this means turning the market, from which the poachers have always profited, against them.

This business model can also provide a safe financial basis for the African people, whose poverty is capitalised on all too often in the interest of poaching, by allowing them to trade with their animals on their ancestral land. The war against the illegal trade with rhino horns must not be waged on the backs of the local population or over their heads. This business model is also a way out of green imperialism and towards working together with the local population. Skilful breeding of the animals can also help to broaden genetic diversity among rhinos under human care.

For a long time, conservation has been carried out contrary to the principles of the market, however, it is becoming more and more clear how the market economy can help and benefit conservation. The following project, which uses snails to protect drills, shows this quite well.

Fortunately, we are gaining a greater understanding of how poverty and hardships among the local population affect the protection of animals. Therefore, it is essential to work together with the locals without a white-saviour-attitude and provide the protection necessary to preserve the animals. This is what solutions in the field of conservation of the future look like, and they are already working today. Zoos and aquariums can provide much support in developing such projects.

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