As many as 80,084 strip cartoons “I’m a little rhino” were presented to primary students in the central city of Da Nang at the international conference to popularise the elimination of rhino horn use.
The event was jointly held by the municipal Department of Education and Training and the Vietnam CITES Management Authority in the city on March 17.
Specialists at the conference said that there are approximately 28,000 rhinos in the world, stressing that in 2013, over 1,000 African rhinos were poached for horn consumption in Asia, including Vietnam.
They also presented numerous facts and statistics to teachers, students and parents aimed to dispel the misconception that rhino horn has medicinal effects.
Do Hoang Tung, Director of the Vietnam CITES Management Authority, expressed his hope that cooperation with the municipal education sector will help raise public awareness of protecting wild animals, especially endangered species like rhinos and elephants, contributing to the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Vietnam.
Teresa Telecky, Director of the Wildlife Department with Humane Society International, said that among the five distinct types of rhinos, there are only 275 Sumatra rhinos and 60 Java rhinos left in the world.
She said that the number of rhinos poached for medicinal purposes is increasing, even as she demonstrated scientific evidence proving that there is no pharmacological effect of rhino horns, evaluating their keratin contents and drawing parallels between horns and human nails.
Le Trung Trinh, Director of the municipal Department of Education and Training,
emphasised that the students will be proactive advocates to raise awareness and willingness in society to protect the endangered animals.
The department also plans to kick off a drawing contest on protecting rhinos and reducing demand for rhino horns.