WWF releases rhino game

2013-05-17 10:11

Rhino. (Shutterstock)

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Cape Town - An environmental organisation has launched a mobile game to raise awareness on the scourge of rhino poaching.

The WWF announced that the game, WWF Rhino Raid, was launched in partnership with Cape Town firm Flint Sky Interactive.

"The objective is not just to have fun playing the game, but to begin a process of debunking the myths around the use of rhino horn," said Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF-SA.

Rhino poachers killed over 600 animals in 2012 and more than 200 have already been poached in 2013.

The price of horn, which is made of the same material as fingernails and toenails, has skyrocketed in dwindling global supply to be worth more than gold in value.


Poachers are often willing to take increased risks to kill rhino and despite arrests in 2013, the Asian market demand has seen increased violence between poachers and rangers as the fight over rhino escalates.

"There's so much money sitting in the system and so many poor people that you take one guy - one ground soldier - out of the chain and then there're 150 guys tomorrow ready to step into his boots. For $1 000, they will take risks," Du Plessis told News24.

Rhino horn is believed by some to have healing properties and campaigners have actively been trying to raise awareness of the plight of the animals.

"The more I've got involved in it, the more ridiculous it actually is. Like the main use for the horn actually for the powder for common fever and a headache which a Disprin or Panado can do," naked skydiver and rhino campaigner Steve Newman recently told News24.

China removed rhino horn from the pharmacopeia in the 1980s, and it not produced at large scale in factories in the country, but Du Plessis said that some traditional healers in Asia were exploiting people's fears and prescribing rhino horn to make money.

"So the guys going after rhino horn as a commodity, the same bands of gangs, or groupings or triads operate with drugs or who trade in arms, who trade in perlemoen, anything where big bucks can be made."

The game is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

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