🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Rhino horn myth

I believe that there is a special place in hell for people who de-horn Rhinos...

Ink sketch and colour wash on Bockingford 300gsm

All we ever read in the media is statistics of all the Rhino atrocities, and nothing as to what can actually be done to stop this. Education is and always will be the best tool.

With today’s network of communication tools, such as social media, it is now possible for scientific studies to reach a global audience like never before – and we can move closer to busting these persistent myths about rhino horn, which are indeed the root of the rhino crisis. By raising public awareness and educating others about the truth behind rhino horn, we can make a difference.

As part of continued efforts to set the record straight on rhino horn’s so-called curative properties, three scientific studies were re-introduced, confirming that rhino horn has no medicinal value. The studies were conducted by different teams of researchers at separate institutions. In each case, the results were conclusive: There is no scientific evidence to support claims of rhino horn’s usefulness as a medicine.

The studies “found no evidence that rhino horn has any medicinal effect as an antipyretic and would be ineffective in reducing fever, a common usage in much of Asia.” Testing also confirmed that “rhino horn, like fingernails, is made of agglutinated hair” and “has no analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmolytic nor diuretic properties” and “no bactericidal effect could be found against suppuration and intestinal bacteria”,. And medically, "it’s the same as if you were chewing your own nails”.

When there were still at least 15,000 black rhinos on the African continent, WWF and the IUCN commissioned a pharmacological study of rhino horn, hoping that science would trump cultural myths. Tragically, by 1993, ten years after the study was published, Africa’s black rhino population had plummeted to just 2,300.

Conducted by Hoffmann-LaRoche, the research was published in "The Environmentalist"



  1. Maree, I thank you so much for posting this!

    1. My pleasure Kathryn. For some reason or another, this comment of yours ended up in Blogger's spam folder, just come across it now.

  2. I didn't know rhinos were in trouble for their horns. I didn't know they were supposedly good for anything else other than what the rhinos used them for. This was an education for me. I ran into your blog via Studio at the Farm. I really like your drawing. That's what I do. I hope you didn't go into harm's way to get it. Reference photographs would be a regular thing for me if I lived in South Africa.

    1. Ha ha! Hi L.W.! No, I wasn't in harm's way for this sketch, but I have sketched them on location, which you can read about here : http://www.redbubble.com/people/mareeclarkson/works/7999045-rhinos-at-kromdraai?c=4501-animals-1-wildlife - the Rhino debate has been going on for many years and the sad thing is that, this year alone, in 59 days, 80 Rhinos had been butchered and killed for their horns here in South Africa! Thank you for stopping by, enjoyed your visit!

  3. It's sad to think humans kill the rhino for these horns. Its just not right.

    1. Very sad indeed Tweedles and the problem is that not many people in the rest of the world (besides South Africa), are aware of the problem... thanks for the visit, appreciate your stopping by!



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