Published on October 28th, 2011 | by Rhishja Cota-Larson


Rhino Crisis Round Up: Javan Rhino Extinct in Vietnam, Rhino Horn Smugglers Arrested in Nepal & More

October 28th, 2011 by

The conservation community mourns this week as the extinction of the Javan rhino subspecies (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) was confirmed.
Photo © WWF-Greater Mekong

DNA testing determined that a female rhino, found shot to death in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park in 2010 with her horn missing, was the very last of her kind.

A report released last week by WWF noted that Vietnam’s illegal wildlife trade is “rampant” and there was a glaring lack of political will and very little, if any, accountability for the protection of its critically endangered rhino population.

Vietnam is facing an extinction crisis due to the largely uncontrolled illegal wildlife trade and rampant, ubiquitous poaching of wildlife. Current protected area management practices and conservation interventions have proved inadequate for dealing with this threat. The extinction of the Javan rhinoceros from Vietnam is a direct result of this inadequate protection and protected area management from all parties involved in its conservation.

Read more about the extinction of Vietnam’s rhinos at “Breaking News: Javan Rhino Declared Extinct in Vietnam“.

Rhino horn smugglers arrested in Nepal

Authorities in Chitwan National Park have arrested 17 people for suspected involvement with smuggling rhino horn.

According to The Himalayan Times, the gang is tied to a syndicate operating in Chitwan, Nawalparasi, and Kathmandu.

Thai rhino horn trader denied bail

In South Africa, Eyewitness News reported that rhino horn syndicate suspect Chumlong Lemtongthai was denied bail by the South Gauteng High Court.

Lemtongthai, along with South African safari operator Marnus Steyl, are believed to be using trophy hunts as a front to launder rhino horn and transport it to Southeast Asia.

It was also alleged that Lemtongthai and Steyl had hired Thai prostitutes to pose as hunters.

However, Steyl continues to evade public scrutiny for his ties to the scandal.

And the award goes to …

The news of the Vietnamese Javan rhino’s extinction prompted the popular Shrub Monkey blog to bestow “Cunt of the Day” status to the people responsible for this heinous crime.

From the Shrub Monkey blog:

Poachers are flat out cunts and no excuses about coming from a poor country will cut it. Those who willingly purchase products made from rare species are also cunts of the first order whose selfishness perfectly exemplifies our greed, stupidity and lack of respect for the world in which we live.

I could not agree more.

Check out the Shrub Monkey blog and follow Shrub Monkey’s Cunt of the Day at @cuntoftheday

Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus photo provided by & © WWF-Greater Mekong; greater one-horned rhino photo via Shutterstock

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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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