By Duncan Alfreds
The war against rhino poaching can be won, despite the increasing poaching that has seen rhino species go extinct in several countries, an environmental organisation has said.
"I think we absolutely can still win this battle in terms of conservation. We need to see wild rhino in wild places," Dr Jo Shaw, Rhino co-ordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) told News24.
The WWF released its research into the consumption of rhino horn in Vietnam on Tuesday and the results show that status is one of the main rivers for rhino poaching in SA.
The survey, which was conducted in conjunction with wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic found that typically, consumers viewed rhino horn as a status symbol.
The archetype of a male horn consumer is 48, wealthy and uses the product to ensure health and virility, the research found.
The survey showed that while a relatively small percentage of consumers bought the horn for their own purpose, there is a larger group known as "intenders" who would buy and use rhino horn if they had the income.
"Intenders want to become buyers and users of rhino horn as it is favoured and valued by those they want to impress," said Dr Naomi Doak of Traffic's Greater Mekong Programme. More....