Animals

Published on July 1st, 2011 | by Rhishja Cota-Larson

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Rhino Crisis Round Up: Namibia Hit (Maybe) & Rhino Horn 'Treatment' Sends Woman to Hospital in Vietnam

July 1st, 2011 by

In this week’s Round Up: Namibia, Swaziland, and Vietnam.

Namibia may be joining the long list of countries hit by the illegal rhino horn trade, as authorities investigate the suspicious discovery of a dead rhino at a game lodge.

Still in shock after the first rhino murder in nearly 20 years, Swaziland receives more sad news.

And, some “bad medicine” in Vietnam sends a woman to the hospital.

Investigation in Namibia

An investigation is ongoing in Namibia to determine if the carcass of a white rhino found earlier this month was indeed killed for the horns, or if the horns were taken by someone who found the rhino already dead.

The discovery was made at the Wabi Game Lodge, near Waterberg Plateau in the Otjozondjupa Region.

If it is found that the rhino has fallen victim to the illegal rhino horn trade, then it will be the first this year for Namibia.

Namibia also recently launched a rhino SMS hotline. The public is asked to call 55555 to report any suspicious activity.

Tragic update from Swaziland

Already heartbroken after its first rhino murder in nearly 20 years, Swaziland now mourns its second loss.

The young calf that was left orphaned by the killing of a female rhino on World Environment Day in Hlane Royal Park was found dead.

According to a media release on the Big Game Parks website, the baby rhino succumbed to cold weather and lack of mother’s milk.

Unfortunately, orphaned baby rhinos are frequent victims of the rhino killing epidemic. Read their stories at The Littlest Victims: Orphaned Baby Rhinos.

Woman uses rhino horn ‘medicine’ – ends up in hospital

A woman was admitted to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi following the use of rhino horn to treat a rash around her mouth.

After ingesting the rhino horn mixture, her symptoms became considerably worse. The rash turned painful and then spread from her face to her arms, and she developed a slight fever.

A physician at the Center for Clinical Immunology at Bach Mai Hospital, Dr.Nguyen Huu Truong, explained that rhino horn has not been proven as a medicine.

He warned that “rhino horn is quite likely to cause allergic reactions and toxicity” and recommended that patients seek actual medical treatment, instead of consuming rhino horn.

The patient had reportedly paid “a large amount of money” for the rhino horn, which is illegal to buy and sell.

Medicinal myths about rhino horn

The demand for rhino horn has already claimed the lives of nearly 200 rhinos worldwide since the beginning of 2011- and it’s all because of medicinal myths about rhino horn. (And greed.)

Learn more about the rhino crisis and help educate others:

Image #1, #2, #3 © iStockphoto.com; #4 © Saving Rhinos LLC

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About the Author

Rhishja is the founder of Annamiticus, a nonprofit organization which provides educational information and news about wildlife crime and endangered species. Rhishja has journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. At CITES CoP16 in Bangkok, she joined colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species from economic exploitation. When Rhishja is not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, she enjoys gardening, reading, designing, and rocking out to live music.



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