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Will you kill for hair? Shockingly, some of us do

Salma Rehman | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:38 IST

Imagine killing somebody for their hair?


This is what exactly happens when a rhino is killed for its horn.

Photo: Rhino/ WWF India

A campaign started by the World Wildlife Foundation is eye-catching and at the same time shocking.Mounted against the reckless poaching of endangered Rhinos in Assam, the campaign presents an extremely startling revelation about the horns for which these creatures are mercilessly killed.

The message under the campaign reads- Rhino horns are made of the same material as human hair and have no medical value. #Stoppoaching

Apparently, it is a popular belief that rhino horns have medicinal properties; for example, they have a huge demand in Vietnam for being a hangover cure and treatment for terminal illnesses amongst other uses. But as per the campaign claims, there is no proven medicinal use of these horns.

The comparison is extremely relevant - which makes us ask - why is it that rhinos are killed for a piece of their body which is useless for the humans? Above all, why they are killed at all?


File Photo

Assam is home to 2,500 one-horned rhinos, 90 of which are protected under the Kaziranga National Park. The park has been battling rampant poaching of these animals for their horns. According to media reports, in 2015, 17 rhinos were shot down by the poachers. Four rhinos have already been killed in 2016.

As part of this work, in partnership with the Assam Forest Department and other organisations, WWF-India initiated the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) in 2005. The vision of the programme is to increase the total rhino population in Assam to about 3,000 by the year 2020 and also ensure that these rhinos are distributed over at least seven protected areas to provide long-term viability of an Assam metapopulation of the species.

First published: 10 February 2016, 6:19 IST