legendary conservationist who runs a rhino sanctuary in Tanzania
“It is great that zoos burned their rhino horn stockpiles. I wholeheartedly support it. It is long overdue and I hope that more zoos and governments will do the same, along with using all their powers to pressurize the end-users. It is essential to reduce rhino horn consumption as much as possible and make people aware of the final extermination of the species that will result if this trade continues. Every step in restricting the trade and exposing the myths of its properties matters immensely and helps to protect and perpetuate rhinos here in Africa.”
WE BURNED OUR RHINO HORN STOCKPILES – OR SYMBOLICALLY SUPPORTED SUCH AN APPEAL – ON SUNDAY, 21st SEPTEMBER 2014, JUST A DAY BEFORE THE WORLD RHINO DAY. DETAILED INFO ABOUT PARTICULAR EVENTS YOU FIND BELOW:
On 21st September at 11am (“at the eleventh hour”), the major burning of rhino horns took place in Zoo Dvur Kralove. Under armed customs supervision, the pile was ignited by a legendary conservationist Tony Fitzjohn who worked with George Adamson of Born Free fame and who runs a rhino sanctuary in Tanzania now. Tony Fitzjohn was accompanied by Monika Leova, Miss Earth Czech Republic 2013, who is of Vietnamese origin. The burning was organized under the auspices of the Czech Minister of Environment. The ministry destroyed rhino horn seized during an operation against illegal trafficking at the ceremony as well. The ceremony was witnessed by many other guests, speeches were delivered by the CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon and Member of European Parliament Pavel Poc who is a co-author of the EP resolution on wildlife crime. Representatives of the UN, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and many other organizations were present as well.
At the same day, Zoo Plzeň burned a symbolical amount of a horn of Indian rhino to support the appeal that any trade in rhino horn is unacceptable.
Also on 21st September, Zoo Zlín put an information booth in the garden and informed about the critical situation of rhinos as well as about the campaign to reduce demand in consumer countries.
Why the zoos decided to burn their rhino horns?
It is necessary to show clearly that the situation of rhinos in the wild is critical and that it is the demand for rhino horn what drives them towards extinction.
Burning itself was a symbolic event that calls on everyone to re-cosider consequences of her/his behaviour. By buying rhino horn you fund criminal gangs and poachers. As a consequence of smuggling and trading in rhino horn, the rangers are killed, innhabitants of poor African regions are terrorized and beautiful animals are destined to suffer cruel death. All of this despite the fact that rhino horn has no properties that it is believed to have. Its consistency is similar to consistency of human nails or hair.
Has anyone ever burned rhinoceros horns in the past?
Instead of burning rhinoceros horns, wouldn’t it be better to sell them and to use the earnings for the protection of rhinos in the wild?
Wouldn’t it help to legalize the trade in rhinoceros horns?
Unlike elephants, rhinoceros horns can be cut off, after which they grow back. Might it not be possible to satisfy demand by legalizing the sale of horns from rhinoceroses raised on farms?
What, then, is the road to saving rhinoceroses?
Why are rhino horns being burned in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and other European countries? Isn’t this a problem in Africa, China and Vietnam?
The zoo is one of the most successful rhino breeders outside of Afica. In total, 51 rhinos (four species) have been born in the zoo (number is correct for the year 2014). Most of the newborn rhinos are of the critically endangered eastern black rhino subspecies. In 2009, the zoo shipped three black rhinos to Tanzania. They produced offspring two years later and next one in summer 2014. The zoo is the only animal park where the northern white rhino has ever bred in captivity. In 2009, the zoo collaborated with its partners to transfer four northern white rhinos to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya, in hope to prompt their breeding.
famed Kenyan anthropologist and conservationist who pioneered burning ivory and rhino horn stockpiles and dramatically reduced poaching in Kenya
“The public burning of rhino horn is a very worthwhile demonstration of the crisis facing rhino world wide. Intelligent, educated people world wide recognize that horn from this critically endangered animal is worthless. Burning it and ridiculing those who value it is an excellent idea.”
world famous primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace
famous Vietnamese pop-singer
founder of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya
Miss Earth Czech Republic 2013
legendary conservationist who
runs a rhino sanctuary in Tanzania
Member of European Parliament and co-author of the EP resolution on wildlife crime
Minister of Environment of the Czech Republic
CEO and President of the International Fund for Animal Welfare
Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency
Chairman of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
President of the Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquaria
Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria
Scientific Authority of CITES in the Czech Republic
government enforcement institution involved in the control of international trade in endangered species
Executive Director of Wildlife Direct