Rhino Horns – Rhino poaching is soaring at record levels in South Africa as ivory is now worth more than gold and other precious metals, due to high demand in Asia.
In 2010 the number was 333, in 2011 it jumped to 443. The number a decade ago was around 15 a year. Many people in Asia believe ingesting the ivory will now cure cancer, even though there has been no scientific proof, and now the value has skyrocketed passed the value of most precious metals.
The price for a kilo of rhino horn can run around $65,000 a kilo or around $30,000 a pound.
It is estimated their are about 20,000 rhino roaming the plains in South Africa but with the rise of the poaching numbers they could be on the brink of extinction.
“Nothing is more tragic than to see this totally unnecessary and brutal killing of an animal for its horn and the horn in turn has zero medicinal value,” said Pelham Jones, a leader of the South Africa Private Rhino Owners Association.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the ivory horns are ground into a powder which is dissolved in boiling water to be consumed to treat fever, rheumatism, gout and other disorders, even demonic possession.