This has indubitably been a bad year for rhinos, particularly if you are a rhino subspecies. As many would know the rarest rhino subspecies is the Northern White Rhino, with only 8 individuals. But a year ago we correctly should have said it was the Vietnamese subspecies of the Javan rhino. There are only around 50-60 Javan Rhinos, 3 of these were the Vietnamese Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus), in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam. Sadly a month or so ago this subspecies was declared extinct. Sad on so many levels, but particularly when the rarest rhino species loses another bit of diversity. Now the Javan Rhino only exists in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, a stable population that is well protected but highly prone to disease and unlikely to expand due to a lack of land. The Javan Rhino used to be the most widespread of all Asian rhinos, with three subspecies, sadly they now rank as one of the rarest animals in the world.
When I was a young boy the Black Rhino was the most plentiful of all rhinos, but sadly this year the West African Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) subspecies became extinct. This subspecies used to live in Cameroon but sadly no longer does. It is indeed sad that in this day and age we are seeing the continued killing of these large herbivores to fuel a moronic and unsubstantiated belief that rhino horn (made of Keratin – the same stuff as your fingernails) had medicinal value in Traditional Chinese medicine. Through this misguided value these beautiful creatures are hunted mercifully.
A sad indictment on our species if you ask me.
Right I will admit it, I used to think Elle Macpherson was great, she was a supermodel when I was at school, she was Australian and let’s be honest beautiful. She wasn’t dumb, and then when modelling wound up she went into business. But I am afraid to say she is a goose. In fact I use much stronger words in private. Why? Well in a recent interview with Times Online she admitted she uses Rhino horn. Yes “The Body” takes rhino horn. I will now not acknowledge any discussion about how bright she was because she is a prize fool in my eyes now. How a public figure can promote this is beyond me.
There are 8 Northern White rhinos left, yes 8. Their numbers were shockingly reduced in the last 10 years. Check out the desperate last bid to save them here. There are only 60 Javan rhinos left in Indonesia and the Vietnamese subspecies has about 3 left, with the assumption being they are all females, so that subspecies is gone. The Javan rhino is generally regarded as the rarest species of any large mammal. there are around 1000 Giant pandas and around 700 mountain gorillas left and both are in desperate danger, yet there are only 60 Javan Rhinos. The Sumatran rhino is also in real danger as while there are around 250 individuals left, and their numbers are also in decline while the Javan Rhino’s population is stable.
What is awful is that it is a bloody renewable resource, they re-grow, so if all these hokey herbalists are right, why not cultivate it instead of killing some huge beast to cut off the device that ironically nature gave it to protect itself? Well that is too hard, or maybe they are too dumb to think of it. Or maybe they love rhino horn costing more than gold on a black market. By the way rhino horn is keratin not bone. That means it is the same as fingernails. Chew your bloody fingernails then!
And yet this boofhead feels comfortable telling people she uses rhino horn. Well shame on you Elle, I would love to take you to a rhino carcass with the horn cut off and see what you think of rhino horn then. Maybe you just wouldn’t care, because maybe your choice to use rhino horn illustrates what you are really like.