Rhino horn is now worth more than gold on the international market. 100 grams of Rhino horn in Vietnam sells for $2500 to locals and over $8500 to foreign buyers, these are the prices consistently offered to our investigative team in meetings with 5 separate dealers across the country. The demand for Rhino horn is fueled by the thousands who comprise the newly wealthy Asian middle class. They can now afford rhino horn that was previously only for the wealthy and organized crime is cashing in. The horn is used overwhelmingly as an anti-fever, anti-toxin medication, with thousands of years of cultural belief behind the practice but no proven scientific foundation. This is despite the fact that Rhino horn is now an illegal substance worldwide. South Africa alone has lost more than 400 Rhino to illegal poaching incidents in 2011, to say nothing of those lost to legal hunting. There are less than 16000 rhino left in the world and at this compounded rate the Rhino is racing to extinction.
A man holds up a large Rhino horn in the African bush, the horn has just been removed from a White Rhino in order to save it from poaching, Klerksdorp, South Africa, 25 March 2011.