Just say no to rhino
PHUKET: Although the South African environmentalist Janice Maltby now considers Phuket home, she is still very much involved in conservationism back home.
Friday 25 May 2012, 03:26PM
She has been a member of Honorary Rangers, a volunteer organisation committed to ensuring the survival and well-being of indigenous animals in South Africa’s National Parks, for more than 10 years.
Janice had to leave many of her possessions in South Africa, but one thing she brought with her was a resolute desire to change the South African trading of rhinoceros horn.
“There have been 130 rhinos poached in the Kruger National Park this year alone. A large number have been poached on private game reserves, even helicopters have been used as poachers continue the slaughter.”
This, Janice believes, is due to demand from the East, from Vietnam, China and to a lesser extent Thailand, where in many Chinese traditional medicine shops in Bangkok, for example, various rhino products can be found.
In other countries it is also quite common for rhino horns to be used as dagger handles, she says.
This is not only heartbreaking to Janice, but also rather perplexing.
“Why, as an intelligent species, would we want to buy a horn that has been scientifically proven to have no medicinal value at all? Our fingernails are similar, so why not nibble on those when they’re long?”