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We want you to pay the lowest possible rate for your room. If you have reserved a hotel room through Agoda, and then show us that you could book the same room, for the same dates, at a lower rate, that is viewable and bookable on another website, agoda will either match that rate or beat it.

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Listen Up! Rhino Horn is no Substitute for Viagra! 14 Aug 2013 Weird & Wonderful | 0 comments

Mother Nature’s own four-legged military tank is only a breath away from extinction, thanks in large part to the insatiable human desire for “natural” male enhancement.

Rhinos are one of the most critically endangered creatures on the planet. Of the five remaining rhino species, the Sumatran rhino is one of the most endangered. The situation is so dire that perhaps fewer than 200 are left in the wild. The worldwide rhino population is believed to number less than 28,000, which includes both wild and captive animals. 

90% Loss in 50 Years

Captive breeding programs have been largely unsuccessful as rhinos are private creatures and are not inclined to get frisky while zookeepers spy on them, thus contributing to the population decline. Today the rhino population is 10% of what it was half a century ago, and it is entirely possible that no rhinos are left in Myanmar at all.

The Sumatran rhino is not the long-horned type that most people remember from picture books and childhood field trips to the zoo. It is a two-horned variety whose longest horn rarely exceeds 10 inches in length. Behind the main horn, it has a smaller one, which would be better described as a bony lump. The horns are composed of keratin, the same substance found in human hair and fingernails.

The Sumatran rhino also has the distinction of being the only species of rhino that grows hair on its body. During hot weather, the rhino wallows in the mud, which clings to its hair to create a low-tech, non-greasy version of sunscreen.

The greatest threats to all rhino populations are habitat loss and poaching. Hunting of rhinos for their horns continues despite bans on buying and selling them mainly because poachers are unable to resist the promise of a big payday. On the black market, a poacher can expect to rake in $34,000 or more for just over two pounds of rhino horn. The majority of rhinos are slaughtered just so people can use their horns in concoctions they think will enhance their virility.

Rhino horns have been used for many purposes throughout history, from providing material for the carved hilts of Yemeni ceremonial daggers known as jambiya, to headache relief when ingested in powdered form.

False Libido Claim

One of the most popular uses, however, is as a libido booster in traditional Chinese medicine. The idea of making mojo-maximizers from powdered rhino horn has been around a lot longer than any of the popular “male enhancement” products available today. Unfortunately its supposed uplifting properties are only based on its appearance and not on any proven medicinal value. The worst part is that the rhino will not grow a new horn.

Today, there are both local and international organizations dedicated to rhino preservation through education and the active protection of these amazing animals. The threat to rhinos is so severe that some communities have gone so far as tranquilizing rhinos to remove their horns with a chainsaw, rendering then worthless to poachers. 

In some areas of rhino territory, RPUs (Rhino Protection Units) have been formed to actively monitor rhino populations and teach any poachers they get their hands on a well-earned lesson. And make no mistake, these well-trained troops travel locked and loaded.

The best way to help save rhinos from extinction is to donate to organizations that train local people to enforce laws protecting rhinos.  

International Rhino Foundation: http://rhinos.org/

Save the Rhino: http://www.savetherhino.org/

Rhino Horn is Not Medicine: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/


Read more about the weird and the wonderful of Myanmar (Burma).

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