Valued for their horn, the biggest threat to rhinos is poaching. The horn is ground up and used in traditional Asian medicine and folk remedies for a range of ailments from hangovers, impotence, fevers, to cancer cures. The horn is made up of the same material that comprises human hair and nails and has no scientific curing maladies. The Asian markets put such trust in these remedies that all scientific studies have been ignored.
An endangered species is supremely desired by hunters who yearn to add the rarest of animals to their trophy collection. The winner of the trophy hunting auction pays up to $350,000 for the right to kill an endangered species.
Rhinos are darted, poisoned, trapped with snares, or taken down with high-powered rifles. While the animal is sometimes still alive, the horns are gouged from their face with hatchets or chainsaws. Rhinos die an agonizing, slow death from hemorrhage often while their young watch nearby.
LEADING BUYER OF RHINO HORN
Asia (Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea)
Illegal Wildlife Trade, Trophy Hunting, Deforestation, Habitat Loss