While the numbers of rhino poaching have decreased since 2015 from 1,349 recorded cases to 769 recorded cases in 2018, two and a half rhinos are still killed every single day. In Asia, powdered rhino horn is used in traditional medicine, the horn is touted as a cure for hangovers, cancer, and impotence. It is more commonly used as a status symbol to display success and wealth in Asia. Nowadays, poachers are supported by international criminal gangs that supply them with highly developed equipment to track the rhinos. Most of the time, a gun with a tranquilizer is used, causing the rhinos to fall down, they then cut off the horn leaving the rhino to wake up and bleed to death. Since these poachers are supported by very powerful gangs, they are often armed with guns, which makes it very difficult for anti-poaching teams to combat poachers.
Richard Ellis, author of “Tiger bone and rhino horn” wrote in 2005 for the EAZA Rhino Campaign’s Info Pack: “It is not clear that rhino horn serves any medicinal purpose whatsoever, but it is a testimony to the power of tradition that millions of people believe that it does. Of course, if people want to believe in prayer, acupuncture or voodoo as a cure for what ails them, there is no reason why they shouldn’t, but if animals are being killed to provide nostrums that have been shown to be useless, then there is a very good reason to curtail the use of rhino horn." Rhino horns are made out of keratin, which is the same material that makes up much of our hair and nails. "Truly, rhino horn is as effective at curing cancer as chewing on your fingernails."
With only two female white rhinos left, the creation of the embryos is something big. The creation of the embryos was achieved at Cremona's Avantea Laboratories. Five immature egg cells were extracted from each of the remaining females, Najin and Fatu, who live at a conservancy in Kenya. After being incubated, seven of the cells matured and were used for fertilization. Two of the fertilized eggs developed into viable embryos. These embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen and ready to be transferred into a surrogate mother, a white southern rhino, according to us.news.com . Rhinos are important grazers, consuming large amounts of vegetation, which helps shape the African landscape. Their presence benefits other animals and contributes to a healthy balance within the ecosystem. Many organizations are working to conserve the populations of other rhino species so it does not get to this point, where there are only two rhinos left in a particular species. With the amount of traction and awareness that the issue has garnered, hopefully, it leads to a decrease of poaching of all rhino species.
Posted by " Pamela Jimenez"