Monday, 10 June 2013

Fear for Rhinos in China

After two presentations on rhino poaching, along with a general understanding of Chinese culture and the black market trade, every single person in this course should know that China is one of the main drivers of rhino poaching. Even more, it would be a terrible, terrible, idea to even consider raising rhinos anywhere in China.

Nonetheless, this is exactly what was done. According to Reuters, "Seven savannah-dwelling African rhinos are said to be waiting release into the wild." The first problem, I addressed in the introduction. The second problem is that these rhinos are going to be released into a forest environment when they are savannah-dwelling animals. In recent years, more than 150 rhinos have been transported to China. These rhinos will struggle in a forest environment, there is no doubt about it. "[There are] concerns about nutrition and their overall ability to cope. If they don't have supplementary food, they will starve." Tom Milliken, a rhino conservationist claims, "This is simply not conservation." This raises many questions about the purpose of the project. Is it really for the welfare of the rhinos, or does China have ulterior motives, as rhino horn powder currently costs more than gold in Vietnam.....

China has previously been exposed to have been trying to import African rhinos to a "conservation park" that was an effort to harvest rhino horn. Many are suspicious that this new effort is another attempt to bring the rhino horn trade straight to China.

It simply does not add up in my head. There are no savannahs in China, and nowhere similar to breed rhinos. Instead, they are opting to put them in a completely new environment. China had a previously foiled plan to harvest rhino horns. Now, it is for the sake of conservation. It just does not make sense... especially with the amount of money exchanging hands.

What do you think?


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