We’ve reported that, due to ivory poaching, elephants may be facing extinction. Now it’s been discovered that rhinos are in major danger of extinction as well. Both species have body parts–ivory tusks in the case of elephants and a horn for the rhinoceros–that that are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine.

Richard Black reports in BBC News that a rise in poaching has put some species of rhinoceros at risk of extinction. The amount of rhino horn being illegally traded increased 5 times between 2000 and 2005. Black quotes animal rights activist Simon Milledge as saying, "The main market remains in east and southeast Asia, as well as in the Middle East."

Rhino horn is prized as an aphrodisiac in China. It looks a little like an erect penis, and in traditional medicine that indicates that grinding them up and eating them will make one’s own penis erect.

In the Independent, Jonathan Brown reports that these species are in danger partly due to the sale of animal parts on the internet. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found that ivory objects banned under global wildlife conventions are openly for sale on eBay.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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