Rhinos fighting back with own 'muti'

2011-09-07 22:54

Johannesburg - Rhinos have a new saviour in a treatment for their horns that is not toxic to them, but bad for anyone that consumes it, the Rhino Rescue Project said on Wednesday.

The treatment is a mixture of ectoparasitacides (drugs which kill parasites living on the surface of the host), developed by the Rhino and Lion Reserve in Kromdraai, north-west of Johannesburg, for its own rhinos, spokesperson Lorinda Hern said.

The potion is not lethal to humans, but causes unpleasant symptoms such as convulsions and headaches.

Rhinos at the reserve were treated more than a year ago, with no adverse behavioural or environmental effects recorded.

"The chemicals have the dual threat of keeping away both natural and human parasites... and last for three to four years."

Add to that mixture a "trendy" neon pink indelible dye and you have a horn visible on an X-ray scanner at airports. It shows up pink even when finely ground, she told reporters.

The reserve had one of its rhinos poached in May last year and developed the treatment as a response.

Sophisticated tracking

"A permanent solution would be to eliminate the demand for rhino [horn] altogether. Education would go a long way towards teaching consumers that rhino horn contains no nutritional or medicinal value," said Hern.

"However, education will not produce an immediate result, and results are what we need most at this point."

Hern said the increased presence of the army in national parks had diverted poaching syndicates to private reserves. She called for a moratorium on rhino hunting to buy time for rhino owners who were being targeted and had no government resources at their disposal.

"The moratorium would be a logical interim measure until problems with the current [permits and microchipping] system could be fixed by government."

Hern said the reserve was using the treatment in conjunction with sophisticated tracking technology from the Strategic Protection of Threatened Species, a conservation company.

"To further assist in the ongoing war against poaching, we harvest a DNA sample while the animal is sedated... to be added to a national database of treated animals," she said.

"The aim [is] aiding the legal community in securing prosecutions in cases where treated horns are poached."

Since January 1, poachers killed more than 280 rhinos in South Africa.

The local rhino population was around 18 800 white rhino and 2 200 black rhino.

  • Banned - 2011-09-07 23:15

    I really really hopes this works. Why cant these people use cockroaches instead of such a magnificent animal.

      Chingchao - 2011-09-07 23:25


      Tom - 2011-09-07 23:25

      Because the people who use the horn ARE cockroaches. This is great news. Lots of headaches coming in Vietnam....

      werner.smidt - 2011-09-08 07:12

      Makes me think of that "Rhino Horn" scene in Oh shucks, here comes UNTAG.

      Baddy - 2011-09-08 08:10

      Because they are already eating everything!!!

      Hardtail - 2011-09-08 09:11

      Why just make the end-user sick? make them die. if they use it, they should die as a result. stop the demand for horn at its source. so if some eastern person buys a poisoned horn and uses it and dies, it will get a nasty name, and eventually all these users will die.

      Sharkbite - 2011-09-08 10:23

      Hardtail, apparently you are not allowed to put poison in the horns because it is illegal to plan someone else's death, even though it's basically "self defense". I heard this morning that it's illegal. In my opinion it's pathetic, I say kill them, I agree with you, if people start dying from the horns then they'll stop poaching.

      DeeCS - 2011-09-08 10:27

      The should much rather use a poison that kills the person consuming the rhino horn, that way it will stop very quickly

      Fred - 2011-09-08 10:41

      What about the bas88rd that actually shoot/drug the animal and in many cases mutilate the animal while its still alive, take them out and the Vietnamese and Chinese will not have any horns to play with.

      PunkBuster - 2011-09-08 15:14

      They should have made it lethal to humans. Im sorry but a headache and convulsions are just not punishment enough in my opinion.

      Christopher - 2011-09-08 15:14

      Your right it is, But How are they gonna track the Rhino Horn to the Park! they Can't because it didn't go through any channels to be trackable!

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2011-09-07 23:33

    Brilliant idea! Cutting of their horns to protect the animals is a very drastic measure .

      ands - 2011-09-08 07:53

      I agree though for me the "treated" Rhino should be visualy marked as beeing "treated" with this drug (perhaps an earing or similar). Not to save the consumers but rather to save the rhino from being shot in the first place. Poachers will learn not to kill these "marked" animals. Eventualy all of our rhino should be treated and marked. No more market.

      HappyGoLucky - 2011-09-08 08:42

      the horn itself would need to be marked though. Poachers could still kill the beautiful animal and de-horn them, and still make the sale as the merchant would not no any better...then again, by the time it gets to the consumer, its in a powder who's to stop the merchant from still making the sale too? my only idea would be to somehow have the horns inner layers discolored...

      Umfubi - 2011-09-08 09:24

      @ands: 'earings' won't show up on the infrared targeting systems mounted in helicopters from which the hunters operate, unfortunately. Nice idea though. @Happygolucky: did you actually read this article? Or did you just miss the bit about the "a "trendy" neon pink indelible dye"?

      HappyGoLucky - 2011-09-08 10:46

      @Umfubi: did you even read my comment? a dye that stains the INSIDE of the horn...i doubt everyone has a x-ray scanner...pull your act together. Do you think that all rhino horn gets checked by customs? im talking about the illegal export and about CONSUMERS seeing that its tainted

      ands - 2011-09-08 11:21

      @Umfumbi ... earings or something similar. If they need to be seen from a helicopter then design something appropriate like a big "FUP" ( F@#K You Poacher) sign on his back. :)

      Dave Walters MPowerP - 2011-09-08 13:15

      It remains a renewable resource. Isn't it time we start thinking about treating it as such?

  • Ken J May - 2011-09-07 23:53

    Brilliant!...but why not make a poison that kills those creeps instead of just making them sick!

      nic - 2011-09-08 02:32

      indeed. screw those chinese freaks. If it was up to me I would use the most poisonous substance known to man. Seriously, if only 10 of these chinese fat cat freaks who want to buy rhino horns will die... the problem would be solved.

      Joy Thorpe - 2011-09-08 07:27

      I agree - Cyanide in conjunction with the pink dye.

      Fred - 2011-09-08 10:46

      Can't do that, the Chinese are Zumas new bankers now that Gaddaffi been removed, can't upset the new pay master by taking out his their horny elite.

      Victoria - 2011-09-08 11:46

      @ Fred ROFLMAO

      Fred - 2011-09-09 10:23

      @ Victoria, excuse my ignorance, ROFLMAO??

  • lesm1984 - 2011-09-08 00:05

    Rhinos - 1. Poachers - Nil

      Felix - 2011-09-08 08:16

      Actually poachers have scored 280 this year. Vermin.

      Mr.Faice - 2011-09-08 08:30

      Yeah, the Rhinos are clearly winning

  • derekneilmaclachlan - 2011-09-08 00:34

    This will not do anything to save the rhino. They will still be poached, because the poachers wont know that the horn will be toxic. By the time the whole world knows that rhino horn is toxic there wont be any rhino left anyway. Poachers should be hunted down and like our police commissioner says......SHOOT TO KILL!

      Grayman - 2011-09-08 05:35

      Derek, you may be right, but this is probably the very best solution on the cards yet. As long as the Chinese belive the myth that Rhino horn is an aphrodisiac, the market is there. As long as there is a market there will always be another poacher to take the risk. When the word gets out that the horns are poisoned the demand will drop dramatically. When the money dries up, the risk is not worth it.

      Joy Thorpe - 2011-09-08 07:28

      I also believe in Shoot to Kill - BEFORE they manage to get a shot off

      rantoftheday - 2011-09-08 07:34

      It is actually a myth that the horn is used for an aphrodisiac. It is used as a medicine (which does not actually work) much like the muti sold by witchdoctor types.

      Fred - 2011-09-08 10:48

      After the first person get ill from the drugs put into the horn, the human rights league will demand that the process is stopped, watch.

      Fred - 2011-09-09 10:27

      Ha, I was kind of right, but I had the wrong group, EWT, the useless sods who are supposed to be protecting the Rhino are worried about the effects it may have on the users and animal, bullrubbish they are pee-off because they have failed so miserably and this crowd have come up with a great idea.

  • Milee Bella - 2011-09-08 00:54

    How will the end users know about the toxin so as to be put off buying horn based products? If they don't know the cause of the headache or convulsion ... ?

      Succubus - 2011-09-08 01:08

      Personally, I'm hoping one of them gets an extra concentrated dose and dies. After the first death, the rest of the primitive fools will get the message.

      Grayman - 2011-09-08 05:35

      The power of the Blackberry and the internet. Look how quickly rumours spread nowdays.

      trev2 - 2011-09-08 07:31

      It would be nice if they could develop something to treat the rhinos that would make consumption of horn have the OPPOSITE effect of what people think it does, i.e. it should cause impotence and a reduction in sexual desire in humans! That would kill the trade once and for all.

      Goose - 2011-09-08 08:50

      Believe me, news of this treatment of horns will spread like wildfire. I guarantee you that if a more toxic chemical is used to traet the horns, the horny lil b@5tards will VERY quickly change their filthy habits! What a bunch of cockroaches.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-08 09:27

      There are already publicity campaigns being run in various countries in the far east.

      Proefleser - 2011-09-08 09:53

      Some private parks did inject the horns with poison some time ago and people in the east (can't remember which country) got violently ill and one apparently died, but as far as I know it didn't stop te trade. Maybe somebody else remembers the full story? It was all over the news.

      Fred - 2011-09-08 10:51

      My question is, how does the dye work, if you swallow it will it show up in your tummy, if you use it as a cream will it give you a bright pink willy, that would be great at all the airports. hey guess what he's been using!!!

      grant9 - 2011-09-08 14:19

      Read the article again. There will be a government health warning printed on every horn exported in Manderin.

  • Alo - 2011-09-08 01:12

    Up the dosage and kill them.

  • lenyora - 2011-09-08 06:17

    ...they should develop a toxin that can only be treated by using an antidote made from fresh saliva of the rhino whose horn you swallowed ... meaning the rhino would have to be kept alive by those hunting it for its horn *random thought*

      lenyora - 2011-09-08 10:22

      ...and the idiot that gave me a thumbs-down is most probably one of the rhino poachers!

  • sbhennops - 2011-09-08 06:19

    Bwhahahaha o they are going to get a hard on all right just not the one they anticipated. Someone has to get it on You Tube is would be a hit. And when they get sick everyone will know who has minor problems downstairs bwhahahahahahahaha o we can have fun with this at the A-holes expense. :) !!!!!

  • Dolphin - 2011-09-08 06:23

    Agree Ken J, make a poison that kills any human that touches a Rhino horn.

  • Lewis - 2011-09-08 06:32

    'Bad'for the bastards preying on these animals??? Bad??? It should make them drop down stone dead - the hunters AND the end users.

  • thabatao - 2011-09-08 06:53

    There is a mexican bean that gines you severe stomach cramps and vomiting and stomach ache and can kill you. Treat the rhino horns with that. This will help the Orientals to cure all their problems for once and for all.

      Fred - 2011-09-08 10:57

      So far, not one Orientel has been arrested and convicted for killing Rhinos, lets sort out the problem at the source not the end, lets protect them before they've been slaughtered, not wait for 1 or 2 chinks to get ill.

      Samantha - 2011-09-08 15:22

      a chinese guy involved was in court for this, not sure if he was let out on bail but i pray he wasn't- he must be given a nice injection with that neon pink poison

  • grant9 - 2011-09-08 06:58

    Curious thing about rhino horn. I recall in the 60s ans 70s it was said to be an aphrodisiac. In the 80s it was said to be used to make dagger handles for men in Sudan. It was said to be a 'must have' item if you wanted to get the respect of fellow villagers. This explanation now seems ludicrous considering the Sudanese don't even have enough money to feed themselves but I've read it and was told it by a game ranger. We're now told it's used by the Chinese in medicines. I was told that rhino horn is actually made up of hair. If this is so, why can't fake ones be made out of pigs bristle for example?

      Louis III - 2011-09-08 09:36

      If I'm not mistaken one of the major markets is Vietnam, where it is still used to break fever grant9. But yes, it's just hair. I suspect though that the fact that it was shaped into a horn gives it "magical" properties in the eyes of the uninformed.

      Fred - 2011-09-08 11:03

      Actually its a damn good idea, flood the market with fake Rhino hair, it'll drop the price and hopefully make it uneconimical to run the syndicates that have popped up all over SA, it can't be too difficult to get the right composition of Rhino horn and copy it, I doubt if it'd be that expensive either. If I was you I'd patent this idea of yours, could be worth a fortune in the short term, I'm sure you'd get most of your material for free at your local butcher.

  • nicci.eaglestone - 2011-09-08 07:08

    YES YES YES!!!!!!!! Well done.... but rather make it lethal to humans, from the moment they cut the horn!! The only way to eliminate the "need" for this is to kill the stupid small d**k people who think that this will help it grow... How much more education do they need - seriously now. Well done guys!! Please pass this treatment on to everyone with rhinos.

  • blouvalk - 2011-09-08 07:36

    Can't they treat the horns with something that is lethal when consumed? So when you eat Rhino horn, you die.

  • william.botha - 2011-09-08 07:57

    I say farm Rhinos intensively, if the idiots want horn, give them horn. It would save the Rhinos and bring capital into SA.

      daaivark - 2011-09-08 08:16

      Not too bright a suggestion. Stolen horns are free. Horns bought from a legit farmer would cost a lot of money. So three guesses what the old poachers will do. Go and buy them? Not a chance. There will just be a lot more vulnerable animals nice and easily obtainable on ranches. It will be a bloodbath. I like the idea proposed. Make the horn unusable. Works for me.

      Enigma - 2011-09-08 09:21

      @wwilliam.botha- definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed...LOL

      Fred - 2011-09-08 11:09

      At least he had an idea, yours was just a moronic insult, intensive farming may be the only way to save the species if the slaughter continues at this pace, nearly 1000 Rhinos killed in the last 3 years at this pace in 30 years time they'll be extinct.

      grant9 - 2011-09-08 15:05

      @daaivark, I don't think William botha's idea is that bad. You don't for one minute think that the end users in Asia (with saki droop or whatever) get rhino horn cheaply. Poachers are now using helicopters, 4x4s, epensive ways of smuggling it to the far east to the sangomas. Everyone along the line makes a fat profit and no doubt bribes get paid. So why not farm them and put the criminals out of work? I'm sure the end user will pay a lot less and don't foget the rhino farmer will also be able to sell the hides and the 'boots'. Who knows, farmers may even be able to tame the rhinos and hire them out for chidren to ride.

  • Morarius - 2011-09-08 08:07

    Brilliant, but I still feel that the poachers should be fed viagra and their horn should be cut off and sold as muthi.

  • Bernard Swanepoel - 2011-09-08 08:09

    Just add something more lethal to human beings to that pink stuff. We will have mass deaths in the areas using the horn and then they can start tracing back to dying sellers and the agents. I really coudn't care a dime if those people die in their thousands for killing only one of these beautifull creatures.

  • Andrew - 2011-09-08 08:11

    Brilliant! We must hope that this works and stops the poaching business.

  • Mbuyiselo Mlangeni - 2011-09-08 08:11

    They shouldn't divulge so much info about this, you give a criminals information about how you want to catch them they work on a new plan to evade you....

      grant9 - 2011-09-11 17:40

      Oh so very true. I held back on a comment because I didn't want to give the poachers ideas.

  • Tazi10 - 2011-09-08 08:25

    I really hope this works. well done to the people that come up with this idea.

  • Tazi10 - 2011-09-08 08:29

    Well Done to the person/people that thought of this. I really hope it works. Does this treatment affect a person if yo just make contact with the horn?

  • anonymouse - 2011-09-08 08:29

    I heard the syndicates want rhino to go extinct, which will drive up the price of horn which they have stockpiled. For this reason, rhinos are killed even if their horns are not taken. If this is true, poisoning the horns will not save the rhinos.

  • Fanie - 2011-09-08 08:35

    In the same vein - I have suggested fro many years to plant perlemoen shells - that is loaded with small charges - enough to blow fingers off- randomly amongst the normal perlemoen

  • Goose - 2011-09-08 08:46

    This is an excellent idea. Once all rhino horns are treated, this swill preserve the sanctity of our wildlife as the animal retains its natural beauty while the horny little b@5tards using the powder get poisoned or get very, very ill at least! THat will quickly stop shipments to the chinks who can't control themselves!

  • Flarkit - 2011-09-08 09:06

    Applause! Well done! Mark the horns too and let the market dwindle away after enough horny asians convulse and throw up for days

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-08 09:08

    This sounds great. I sincerely hope that it will work and that our heritage can be saved.

  • KaB - 2011-09-08 09:19

    YES! Brilliant idea...finally some good news and justice for the scum who slaughter these animals!

  • Collitjies - 2011-09-08 09:46

    This treatment may protect the animal from parasites but will not prevent the animal from being killed to remove the horn. This is not the answer.

  • Maryna - 2011-09-08 10:06

    I propose a moratorium on rhino hunting because then the govermental officials involvement can be dehorned.

  • Margaret - 2011-09-08 10:21

    This sounds like a wonderful idea. I recommend it should be used nationally, or even internationally on rhinos. If the poachers / buyers of rhino horn get to hear about this, they would have no way of knowing which rhinos have this protective substance, and it may well be a very positive deterrent, in SA especially.

  • Sylvester24 - 2011-09-08 10:25

    MAJOR military backed steps need to be taken.......shoot to kill while hunting these Poachers! Same for marine resources...use the Navy for that!

  • Cynic - 2011-09-08 10:25

    The asians just like our african couterparts "who eat bush meat" will do anything for the sake of a gloriuos erection which make them feel more like a man. I say poison the F@#$ers and kill them off like vermin before they kill off our wild life heritage forever

  • Fred - 2011-09-08 10:38

    Educating people will not help, the Southern Africans involved in murdering the Rhino are doing it for cash, they don't give a damn if you make a dagger out of it, sniff it or use it to get a bigger, better hard-on, they only interested in the money, low-life scum.

  • Andrew Wassung - 2011-09-08 10:40

    Great...hope we can implement it across the board. Keen for some serious migraines in the east. Absolutely no mercy or sympathy from me. Hope it's the absolute worst pain these consumers can feel while still being alive.

  • Sarah - 2011-09-08 11:04

    Good idea, I really hope it works! Stop the lowlife scum from poaching endangered animals. If it doesn't stop them then I agree with other comments, instead of just having bad side effects make it so it kills the consumers! x

  • Sharkie - 2011-09-08 11:06

    Nice! Go go go!!!!! Lets smear every single last rhino we have with this.

  • Johnny - 2011-09-08 11:15

    hope it works

  • Dude - 2011-09-08 11:15

    Eating ground up asian druglords is guaranteed to enhance your sex life and performance. Where can I buy some?

  • Rudie - 2011-09-08 11:29

    Not tonight i have a headache!!!

  • Lee - 2011-09-08 11:36

    Oh YAY, I get tears in my eyes hearing such good news and that there is possible hope saving the rhino. Bravo to those that are making a difference and I pray that this works and that other research such as this can be done to save other animals that are abused to make money.

  • Pepelee - 2011-09-08 11:40

    Stop KILLING the F@#!ing Rhinos...

  • AlexX - 2011-09-08 11:44

    Great news. I hope every one who uses rhino horn, dies

  • gawie.botha - 2011-09-08 11:55

    "How the hell can u believe this!" ..The prove should be in eating the pudding...and in the pudding....and at the so called export places in South Africa.

  • Marius - 2011-09-08 13:19

    I think they are in the right direction to make rhino horn useless to its market, but safe for the animal, they should do more research on how to make the horn totally useless for humans for all uses.

  • Windlass - 2011-09-08 13:33

    They may end up getting a kick out of the headache. Thinking it is the medication working!!!

  • Kaliel - 2011-09-08 13:38

    All you biological scientists uut there, how about engineering a transgenic perlemoen larvae that grows up to produce a deadly toxin. We can relaease millions of these back into the sea and wait patiently for the bstrds to die. This will also increase the tension amongst the Cape flats gangsters who will just keep doing what they do best - kill eack other off.

  • Kaliel - 2011-09-08 13:42

    Life is tough if you belong to the race with the smallest dicks. Lets face it, we all know that Mr Chang and co have the smallest peckers of all peoples, no wonder they will try anything to get another half inch out of the little guy. Wait until their women cotton on to the joys to be had with an African man, then all hell will break loose.

  • joe joe - 2011-09-08 13:45

    poachers and their investors should have their noses cut off , so when they walk in public , we can see who is extincting these phenomenal creatures

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-08 14:06