There was encouraging news this week from South Africa, as efforts to crack down on the country’s trophy hunting debacle are moving forward.
Meanwhile, antique rhino horn thefts continue – but there may be very unpleasant consequences for the end user.
Arsenic and old rhino horns
The latest antique rhino horn heist was sadly the horn of “Rosie the Rhino”, an exhibit beloved by children who regularly visited Suffolk’s Ipswich museum.
However, if Rosie’s horn is destined to be ground into illegal Chinese medicine, not only will the patient derive zero medicinal benefits, but he or she could be in for a deadly surprise.
The exhibit was apparently preserved with a “cocktail of chemicals” which could have included “large amounts” of arsenic.
South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) has joined the growing call for a moratorium on the trophy hunting of rhinos.
The announcement was made by Gareth Morgan MP, DA Shadow Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in response to the undeniable connection between South Africa’s trophy hunting industry and the illegal rhino horn trade.
He recommends that South Africa’s Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs take significant “action steps” to address the issue:
There are a number of important action steps that the Minister needs to take to improve regulations around rhino hunting. First, there needs to be a national online registry of hunting permits. In real time, any provincial conservation official processing a hunting permit should be able to establish the record of the applicant across South Africa. At the same time, the national Department of Environmental Affairs would be able to track trends providing important intelligence on proposed hunts that may not be in line with the law.
Read the statement in its entirety on Politicsweb.
For the backstory on this unsavory issue, see Thai Prostitutes Hired to Kill Rhinos in South African Trophy Hunting Scam and Mules Hunting Rhinos? Sinister Scam Unfolds in South Africa.
Vietnamese rhino horn traffickers sentenced
Two Vietnamese nationals arrested over a year ago for trafficking rhino horn have finally been sentenced to prison in South Africa.
The pair, Duc Manh Chu and Phi Hung Nguyeng, was busted at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo Airport just 30 minutes prior to the World Cup’s Opening Ceremony.
They were attempting to smuggle approximately 16 rhino horns to Vietnam.
According to the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, Chu received a 12 year sentence and Nguyeng received eight years.
Horny and delicious
This week’s Round Up concludes with a surprise that is both tasty and brilliant!
Enjoy this video of a truly incredible rhinoceros-shaped cake from Ava Sweet Cakes:
Image #1 & #2 © iStockphoto.com; #3 Wikimedia Commons