From my youth, I’ve always heard that rhinos, elephants, tigers, and other species would be lost from our world during my lifetime. The most recent, but surely not the last, highly recognizable species to be lost is the western black rhino. This species became extinct for the most superficial reason of all. People believe that its horn, made of keratin – the same stuff as finger nails – can help them get an erection. They were exterminated so that fools could get their rocks off. Shame to humanity.
Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.
33 Responses to Western Black Rhinoceros, Gone forever.
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Sad that it is gone, and sadder for the reason why.
Sad indeed. However this animal may reappear on the next go around…
Until humanity realizes that sex (for reasons other than having a family when there are resources to provide for offspring — like wolves) is essentially a biochemical addiction and a way to keep the vast majority of people distracted from important issues, we are doomed. The worst part is that we are taking innocent animal nations with us in contravention of Henry Beston’s breathtaking admonishment:
In a world older and more complete than ours, animals move finished and complete. They are not underlings. They are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the Earth.
It is really disturbing to read this. Although I believe sex is a very important component to healthy relationships, I am sickened by the demise of this species.
Surely there are cultural reasons why the belief that horns cause erections is so pervasive. But just as surely as there is a history to the belief, there are people so consumed with their virility that they believe this crap in the face of science that defines why impotence occurs.
Tomorrow, I will sadly ask my friend (who worked with rhinos) how this news impacts him personally, and all of us ecologically. Though I will ask, I dread the answer. Some times, enlightenment and knowledge are gut wrenching.
Addendum: Yes, sex is important for bonding in healthy relationships. What I am fundamentally referring to is the obsession with sex and male virility, which is fomented by the media and corporations (e.g., Viagra, Testosterone supplements — which seems to be affecting not only the driving and general manners of men — not to mention the exhibition of violence in the ways animals (wolves of late in this country) are dispatched.
I don’t know that virility and wolves are related. I must have missed that thread. I can’t man bash, as I see the same behaviors in women.
I would have to say that I feel sex and exhibiting strength are a key basis for survival in most natural settings. However, rhino horns are neither.
Although mot many mammals have sex “for fun”, there are a few (primates would hint that it is an evolutionary process).
The inability to have an erection is also important for survival of humans, it needs to happen for reproduction to occur….although we could get by with far fewer procreators. To some degree, it is instinctual for men to feel the need to have ‘virility’. Yes, we bipedal primates are supposed to be able to reason through all of that.
Now, naturally speaking, if a man can’t get an erection perhaps it is nature culling humans. Rhino horns and using them under the fallacy that they promote erections is neither instinctual, nor acceptable.
We see HUGE amounts of misuse of resources in the name of medicine and science- Eastern Medicine is riddled with the use of rare animal byproducts for use with sex, reproduction, and more. Tigers (various parts and milk), bears(pancreas), sharks (cartilage) salamanders, deer (testes) fish and many more are used for things which have no medical basis in fact.
The cultural belief systems which include such uses are as old and stead-fast as those which fuel religious wars. We won’t abolish them. What can we do? Sigh…..
Let’s put a little more truthful slant on this “rhino virility” subject, OK, Valerie.
It is about “traditional Chinese medicine,” which if investigated goes back centuries, maybe updated recently for rhino horn medicinals. Now, the availability to the public in China, Viet Nam and other Asian cultures, is a product of new found economic wealth for the masses, driving up a demand, no doubt based on a combination of myth, and creative advertizing/marketing. And if demand goes up while supply is low, price increases, thereby resulting in even higher levels of exploitation at higher profit margins.
With 13 billion people estimated for the year 2100, we need to stop with the male virility.
I think many of these holdovers are from ancient times when human survival was difficult – ‘enemy’ animals competing for food, poor sanitation leading to poor health and death, high infant mortality. I always wonder if that is why these myths and concerns survive to this day. They do not apply today because we have overrun the planet.
cobackcountry writes: “don’t know that virility and wolves are related. I must have missed that thread.”
Meaning EXCESS “virility” is the same as excess testosterone which is channeled into aggression which is “relieved” through hunting, torture and/or sadism involving *animals, rape, domestic violence, etcetera.
e.g. See Lobowatch and other sadistic websites about wolves and you’ll see men masturbating over Conibeared dying wolves (reference: Carter Niemeyer)
You have to wonder what kind of woman finds a man like this appealing. Ewwwwww. And then the horror of realizing they’ve passed on their genes to another generation of psychos! But hopefully, it will end up an impotent pool or sludge n the grass left to rot before it causes any more trouble.
Sorry, make that ‘an impotent pool of sludge!’ 🙂 I always wonder what a poor animal thinks when he looks into the eyes of one of these disgusting monsters he’s had the misfortune to encounter – pity or disgust.
These extreme few deviants are far from the typical or norm amongst hunters.
The people who poached rhinos didn’t do it to get their jollies. They did it because they got very highly paid for the horns. One is not the same as the other.
I get it that many folks oppose hunting wolves, but you it is ludicrous to associate beastiality, and Eastern Medicine, and crappy wolf management together.
It actually is the very type of irrational behavior that makes people, (like myself) who are standing in the middle want to step right over to the other side. Holy heck, come on! Is there anything people won’t say or do to make others see them as right? Frankly, knowing that someone would commit time to seeking out and watching such things makes me question their motives and credibility.
I have known you to be quite rational (on here). Please don’t jump on that train.
I do realize that. It was an instinctual reaction from me. I was repulsed. I do realize the majority of hunters are not sexual deviants, thank goodness. But, these people should not be able to behave the way they do and get away with it under the guise of hunting. Even doing it for money disgusts me.
Blogs and articles about these sub-humans writing about their ‘experiences’ from blogs like lobowatch have been forwarded to wildlife advocates. Whether they deliberately make up stories to offend wolf advocates or not, I don’t know. But my experience is that whatever someone’s worst imaginings, the reality is even worse. Believe me, I don’t need my opinion of humanity to be any lower than it already is, so I don’t seek these things out.
I am chuckling, and also stumped.
I know you are a level headed person. I also know, like all of us, emotions run deep with you.
Not to worry, an I wasn’t attacking you. I was just going “no, no!!!! Not Ida!” lol
I understand. I get carried away, for sure. But I always manage to settle down. 🙂
Have a good night,
Back at ya!
I totally 100 percent disagree. I find it disturbing that you would lump sexual desire (which is quite normal) and hunting in with sadism. It comes across as though you are looking for any way to use human nature to say support your stand against hunting.
I won’t hunting the right and wrong aspects on hunting with you, because over the years I have learned people who are so against hunting don’t have ears or eyes. They don’t want to hear anyone else’s opinions or facts, and they don’t want to see how they could be tainted or extreme.
Rhino horns and erections are not the litmus test for common, decent people who hunt. They are not a reasonable comparison, they have little if any commonality. You can say they do, draw your own conclusions and comparisons if you’d like. But I’d make a rational guess that not many people would agree with you.
Men wanting to achieve an erection is not excessive testosterone, in fact-being unable to get one would indicate a HYPOGONADISM, or low testosterone. Your twisted argument is full of holes and inconsistencies.
I am going to step away from this one, because it is pretty repulsive to assume that I’d watch men masturbating over wolves, or to think that you seek out that kind of ammunition to some how imply all men are that way. That was a stretch, and an indication of how sick they are and how low you’d sink to demonize hunting.
Again, I don’t judge all others by the actions of a few.
Just FYI: Conibeared wolves used to sexually excite and utilizing trapped wolves as bait to kill yet more wolves as the ranchers and hunters escalate their squawking about depredation and competition (from pers. conv. with IFG Deputy Director Dave Compton)examples of the direct fall-out from the state wolf management and “conservation” plans of ID, WYO, and MT fundamentally premised on a giant loophole hiding in plain sight — “adaptive management” (a classic ploy “used by agencies to placate the public without actually imposing enforceable constraints on themselves.” — Professor Holly Doremus)
“Rhino horns and erections are not the litmus test for common, decent people who hunt.”
EXCEPT for cultures of sustenance hunters (and these day these cultures are dying or extinct themselves) hunting IS killing. In NO way it is “decent.”
In your opinion, it is in no way decent. So, then I would ask you:
Without the revenues of hunting and angling taxes and fees, how would YOU save all the animals in jeopardy? If you failed, would you not be the biggest animal murderer of them all then?
You call it killing, some people call it life. You feel it is bad, I feel it is bad when done improperly or without guidelines.
I have no desire to argue this point with you, as you have no intention of ever listening to an opinion which differs from your own.
If we go back in time about 20 years we were told the black rhino was on the path to extinction. At the same time reintroduction of the grey wolf to the lower 48 was a issue.
So what if all the energy and money that was used to increase the range of the wolf, a few hundred miles south, was used to save the black rhino instead. Would we have both species?
How many other species could we save with the same energy given to the wolf?
Sorry, but have to differ with you on your comparison. Black rhinos are/were in Africa. Wolves in the Unites States. The folks of impoverished African nations needs such as clean drinking water probably make knowledge of something like the Black Rhino, well, unknown.
Gonna have to shoot those poachers in Africa as $ for the power of the erection is potent, pun intended. Don’t think shooting poachers here would go over to well.
Oh, and meant to say with my original post on this thread, the black rhino, as ungainly as it appears to be, is a noble looking creature.
It was a hunk of power, and a reminder of how the plains of Africa once were.
Bums me out.
As much as an intelligent person can see the many ways the issues could have faired differently- the hands of time only move one way.
Respectfully, both animals deserved our attention. Both got it. The battle here is legislative and trivial compared to what has now happened with the rhino (w.b.).
We did attempt to help, but the turmoil here is nothing like there. Here, we yell, call names, and sue people. There, poachers murder people, and there is a non-stop battle waged where brutal and horrific terror is inflicted on the masses.
I’d take a wolf fight here over a gun or machete fight there, any day!
My opinion is we’d have neither one. You can’t do anything from here to protect the black rhino there, with their corrupt governments and demand for horn for folk medicines. I think in the Middle East there is demand for it for daggers too.
There is much resistance to putting any endangered animal on the list, remember the spotted owl mess. So without protections and people who give a sh*t, these animals are going bye-bye.
Yes, everything had it’s day and must die – except for humans who seem to be exempt for the most part. Our only enemy is ourselves and our greed.
Why not move the animals from their original area until the tsunami of humanity (and stupidity) ebbs again? We’ve had plenty of opportunity to keep animals in NA until a later time. History shows we are a fairly stable bunch here with some hostility towards poachers. Let them have them again next century….if they are ready.
“Give me your tired, your poor….etc” …. maybe not just the human kind.
I think humans are de-evolving. We ar.e a weaker species now than we have been in a while. We’ll keep pushing until technology cannot fathom nature any more. Then, she wins
p.s. You might be right about having neither. There are so many scenarios, and it is such a sh*t end of the stick that WB rhinos are gone.
I’ve wondered about this too. Our best years seem to be behind us, our technological advances are just re-inventing the wheel. Maybe not for medicine.
This is very sad news when any animal is lost.
I concur. One of the reasons I walked away from the world of wolves, besides the incessent griping, was my realization that there are many other life forms in dire risk of immediate extinction. The current paradigm of state wolf management is fairly poor but I don’t believe it will result in the extinction of the wolf. Yes, what is happening in the NRM states is upsetting to me, but meanwhile there are numerous other lesser known and not-so-glamourous species that are rubbed out of existence.
Done with Western Black Rhino horn? Moving on to saiga…