April 11th, 2016
Episode 525 of 559 episodes
The majority of white and black rhinoceros are found in South Africa. This stronghold for these magnificent creatures is now being threatened by poachers killing rhino for their horns. Rhino horn, traded illegally in parts of Asia, is thought to be a cooling agent in traditional Chinese medicine. It's recently been hailed as a cure for cancer, and is seen as a status symbol in Vietnam. Made from keratin, the same stuff as hair or fingernails rhino horn has negligible medical properties, yet people are willing to pay up to 40,000 a kilogramme for it. International trade in rhino horn has been banned under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) since the 1990s. Trade in horn was banned within South Africa in 2009. Since then, poaching has increased exponentially, reaching more than 1300 rhino poached in 2015. Protecting the rhino in National and Provincial parks and privately owned reserves is a very dangerous and expensive undertaking. The government-run parks, such as Kruger National Park have about 75% of the South African rhino and are losing the most animals to poachers. The best protected rhino tend to be in the privately owned farms. Many private rhino owners want the ban on the sale of rhino horn to be lifted. This is because, unlike elephant ivory, pangolin scales and the bones from lions, rhinos can be dehorned without harming the animal. Many rhino owners are already removing the horns from their animals to stop them attracting poachers. So they are sitting on stockpiles of harvested horn. With education and demand-reduction schemes not working quickly enough, rhino owners hope to satisfy the demand by legally selling their harvested horn. Some just want to trade within South Africa, while others want CITES to allow a trade agreement between South Africa and China or Vietnam. They say they would use the money earned to put back into conserving and protecting rhino. Others worry that this would just increase demand for horn and that by making trade legal, you are encouraging people to think that it has an actual medical benefit. It's a huge dilemma. Producer: Fiona Roberts Image: baby Ruby, credit Fiona Roberts
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.