Saving Rhinos: $1M burn to demonstrate true cost of poaching - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Saving Rhinos: $1M burn to demonstrate true cost of poaching

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park took a stand against wildlife trafficking and poaching by teaming up with state and federal authorities to displaying tables filled with rhinoceros horns and horn products.

On Wednesday more than one-million-dollars worth of items made from rhino horns were displaced, but on Thursday they plan to burn it all to raise awareness of the crisis that is pushing rhinos towards extinction.

Any product with rhino horn is illegal in the United States, but manufactures are not trying to hide it. In some products, ingredients like a rhino's horn are blatantly and proudly labeled.

According to Michelle Gadd, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, some cultures believe that by consuming the animal one can acquire some of its attributes.

Science has shown rhino horns have little to no medical value, but it remains a tough issue to fight decades of tradition.

Besides decades of tradition, the rhino populations faces another problem - wealth. The rhino horn is viewed as a status of symbol and a symbol of wealth. In fact, a rhino's horn is more valuable than gold and more valuable than cocaine per-kilo ($60,000-per-kilo).

Rhinos have already disappeared entirely from 15 African countries. Today, there are only about 20,000 white rhinos and 5,000 black rhinos remaining.

Poachers in Africa are killing an average of more than three rhinos a day.

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