British auction house to sell stuffed Rhino heads for £50,000 each

© Daily Express, SWNS

On Wednesday, 6th September, it was reported that a British auction house is set to sell a pair of stuffed rhino heads for £50,000 each. According to the article in the Daily Express ‘…the black rhinoceros were shot by a big game hunter in Africa more than 100 years ago and their heads were mounted as trophies on wooden shields.’ http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/850650/Rhino-animal-heads-British-auction-house-for-sale Strict rules  now govern the worldwide sale of rhino horn in a bid to discourage poachers who supply the medicinal market in China. But if rhino horn was ‘worked’ before 1947 – meaning they were significantly altered for jewellery, adornment, art, utility or musical instrument – they can be sold legally.

“At the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation we believe that where a legal market exists it gives rise to a an illegal black market and fuels the demand for endangered species, their parts and derivatives. When it comes to one of the worlds most critically endangered species, the Black Rhino, we find it upsetting and irresponsible for a sale like this to be undertaken. We acknowledge this is a legal sale due to the age of the antiques and the current, although painfully inadequate, exemptions in place surrounding the trade in endangered species but feel that the sale is deeply inappropriate. At a time when the worlds eyes are heavily focused on the rapidly declining rhino populations and the poaching epidemic sweeping across southern Africa, now more than ever, we all need to all recognise the consequences of our actions and social responsibly to do our bit to save a species on the brink of extinction. It sadly wont be long before the only rhinos left on this earth are antiquated, stuffed and mounted, to serve as a terrible reminder to those who’s active decisions were taken to simply make a profit.” Georgina Lamb Programmes and Policy Manager

Indian rhino in Kaziranga National Park, © Dave Back
Indian rhino in Kaziranga National Park, © Dave Back

Rhinos have lived on earth for over 40 million years but habitat loss from human encroachment and poaching for their horn means that they are now in urgent need of our protection. DSWF work in Africa and India to protect precious populations of rhino by funding anti-poaching, park protection, education and community outreach activities. We also support public awareness campaigns and undercover investigations into the criminals behind the trade in rhino horn. Without your generous donations we could not continue funding work to save this incredible species, please donate to our rhino projects at https://davidshepherd.org/help-us/donations?category=rhinos