The name 'rhinoceros' comes from ancient Greek and means 'horned nose'. There are only 5 species of rhino left making them one of the most endangered animals.

Daggers and Drugs

If the rhino didn't have a horn it would probably not be an endangered species - it wouldn't even be called a rhino since the name 'rhinoceros' is Greek and means 'horned nose'. For at least 2,000 years the rhino's horn has been in demand by some Middle and Far Eastern countries. In Yemen, tribesmen carve rhino horn into ceremonial dagger handles. These are held in great esteem, as they are said to give the owner strength and masculinity.

In the Far East, powdered rhino horn is used as a medicine. It is believed to cure all sorts of ailments such as coughs, fever, boils, measles, pain of childbirth etc. The horn is just a mass of compacted hair, so is it any good as medicine? Probably not in most cases, but in 1990 three Chinese doctors tested it and found that it did indeed lower the temperature of feverish mice and rats! They also tested water buffalo and cow horn and these were found to be just as effective.

Read More: Poaching and Poisoning

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