Just one problem: now the rhino is dead. It wasn't the poison, though.
Oops!"Bungled conservation effort kills South African rhino"
Reuters (February 9, 2012)
"A group of animal conservationists in South Africa accidentally killed a rhinoceros they were attempting to make safe from poachers in a botched public relations event.
"Spencer the rhino went into convulsions and died after he was shot with a tranquilizer dart in front of a crush of TV cameras and photographers who had been invited to document an operation to insert a poison capsule into his horn....
"...'The rhino had an unfortunate reaction to the anesthesia,' Rhino Rescue Project spokeswoman Lorinda Hern said. 'Every time you dart a rhino, you take a risk that the rhino might not wake up and unfortunately today was one of those days.'
"Conservation groups insert poison capsules into the horns of rhinos, which release poison into the horn when it is removed from the animal and are meant to render the horn value-less for hunters seeking to sell it on for use in traditional medicine...."
Maybe it makes sense to spike a rare rhino's horn. Maybe:
- The odds of killing the rhino are fairly low
- Most poachers will
- Know about the poison pill
- Care about selling poisoned rhino horn
- Rhino horn buyers will
- Know about the poison pill
- Care about buying poisoned rhino horn
In the Lemming's opinion, folks running the Rhino Rescue Project are putting a lot of faith in the humanitarian impulses of poachers, and the ethical standards of
Living in the Real WorldIn an ideal world, people wouldn't put rat poo in peanut butter, or sell toxic toys. But this isn't an ideal world:
- "Peanut Peril: Remembering"
(February 26, 2009)
- "Lots of Lead and Cadmium in Kids' Tableware: Spiffy"
(November 22, 2010)
- "China: Toxic Toys and Dubious Dumplings Aren't Signs of Terrorism"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (January 30, 2008)
- "Rhino horn: All myth, no medicine"
David Braun, National Geographic (July 7, 2010)
The Lemming hopes that enough folks in Asia will take another look at their equivalent of high-octane patent medicines: and decide to stop contributing to the extinction of an odd sort of critter.
Or - here's an idea - maybe someone in South Africa will come up with a marketable substitute for rhino horn. The country raises beef, poultry, and sheep - apparently for local consumption. Maybe byproducts that aren't getting used now, like bone, could be turned into an exportable commodity.
Or maybe the Lemming's too optimistic, or pessimistic, about marketing and gullibility. And that's another topic.
Related (?) posts:
- "New York City, Stray Cats, Shag, and Sense"
(December 28, 2011)
- "Save the - Goldfish?!"
(June 16, 2011)
- "February 14th: Horned Lizard Day"
(February 11, 2011)
- "Radioactive Pigs Attack Germany - No, Really"
(August 4, 2010)
- "Mice Feel Pain (We knew That) - And Show it Like We do ("No One" Knew That)"
(May 11, 2010)